Over 70% of Sub-Saharan Africans work in agriculture, but the sector is faced with challenges such as a heavy reliance on rain, and outdated farming technologies. But two Kenyan university students have a new idea: what if they could build greenhouses to protect crops, and irrigate only when needed using SMS?
Recurrent drought in the Sahel has become the norm in the past decade, resulting in agricultural decline and periodic famine. There is general recognition that drought-resistant practices are critical, but conventional Western methods are commonly applied to solve these problems. The World Agroforestry Centre is using a technique, called farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR), which promises to address the issue in a unique way.
Dairy production is a vibrant sector in Kenya that contributes to 4% of GDP annually. Many dairy producers in Kenya are smallholder farmers who own only a few cows, and the milk sold from these cows is often the main source of cash income available to a family. As demand for dairy products increases, farmers need to acquire knowledge in more efficient and more adaptive production techniques. A researcher from PEI is teaching dairy groups in Kenya those new techniques.
Can trends towards water scarcity, soil erosion and food insecurity be reversed? According to the non-profit Roots Up, this can be achieved with simple, available and sustainable solutions. Their dew collector greenhouse provides an ideal environment for growing crops and harvests clean water for irrigation and drinking in North Gondar, Ethiopia.
Agriculture is a major source of employment in developing countries, but farmers in those countries often must contend with the challenge of accessing the education they need to improve their livelihoods. The East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project aims to address this problem by introducing volunteer farmer trainers (VFTs) in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.
Since 2010, more than 1,300 cooperative farmers in southwest Haiti have been defining what participatory development means, and are transforming their community on their own terms. With support from Crossroads (CCCI) and Productive Cooperatives Haiti (PCH), Coopérative des Planteurs de Gorgette was established in the community of Duchity four years ago.
Saltwater is converted into freshwater in these greenhouses that provide a mermaid-approved alternative to desalination. The plants grow faster and yield more, and the areas surrounding the greenhouses benefit from the extra moisture in the air. Currently found in such areas as Tenerife, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Oman, and Australia, the greenhouses use an evaporator and “prevailing winds” to distribute humid, freshwater air to plants for absorption.
In many developing countries, agricultural production is a major source of both employment and sustenance. In a country with poor infrastructure such as Haiti, it is often difficult for urban populations to gain access to the fresh food produced outside of the city. One organization has decided to turn the issue on its head: why not grow the food right in the city instead of transporting it?
With a predicted global population of nine billion by 2050, existing agricultural systems will be further strained, placing increased pressure on the environment. New innovations in agriculture are required in order to mitigate the effects of significant population growth, and experts say insects may be the solution.
Why spend more money on seeds, chemical fertilizers, and irrigation when you can use a technique that produces more rice per hectare at a reduced cost? Check out the controversial method used by over 9 million farmers to grow rice in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.