Use plastic bottles instead of polybags for reforestation (Willem Van Cotthem)

Video :


Instead of using polybags for growing saplings, we grow young trees in plastic bottles.  After cutting off the bottom part of the bottle, thus setting the young roots free,  we plant the sapling with the remaining part of the bottle still around the rootball.  Thus, the roots remain undisturbed.  They continue their growth, even in very adverse conditions.  Survival rate is almost 100 % and reforestation a complete success.

PHOTOS : Young avocado sapling grown in a plastic bottle.  Bottom of the bottle cut to set the young roots free.  Then the sapling with the rest of the bottle planted to let the rootball undisturbed in the plant pit.  The sapling continues its growth almost immediately.  Survival rate is maximal. (Photo WVC).

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Posted in afforestation, bottles, polybags, reforestation, saplings

How to enhance survival rate of tree saplings ? (Willem Van Cotthem)

Video :

Plant seedlings with their plastic bottle 

In most cases, the rootball of seedlings is severely damaged at transplantation. Grown in more or less ideal conditions in classical plastic bags in a nursery, they are transported to the field, where the bags are cut open and the rootball roughly handled, whereby almost all the fine absorbing roots are broken. When seedlings are grown in plastic bottles or pots, this damage is avoided. Young saplings show a survival rate of almost 100 %. A few examples to show details of this method.


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Posted in afforestation, reforestation, sapling

Family farmers are an important part of the solution to sustainable food security (IPS)

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Family Farmers – Forward to the Future

“Who is more concerned than the rural family with regards to preservation of natural resources for future generations?”

Pope Francis posed the question in a message read by Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, Permanent Observer of the Holy See for the celebration of World Food Day on Oct. 16 at the headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The Pope’s message went to the heart of this year’s World Food Day theme – Family Farming: Feeding the Planet, Caring for the Earth – as part of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).

The celebration of World Food Day offered an opportunity to share experiences and steps forward towards the eradication of hunger in a way that is sustainable for the future.

“Family farming is key in this effort”, said FAO Director-General José Graziano Da Silva, praising the contributions of farmers around the world. “For decades they were seen as a problem to be dealt with. The truth is that they are an important part of the solution to sustainable food security.”

Food insecurity within the context of a growing world population, increasingly disruptive climate change and environmental destruction, scarce access to land and resources, discrimination against women and lack of financial support for smallholders and youth were some of the problems that were recognised as crucial in the global struggle to feed all.

Sustainable development and smart agriculture, climate change mitigation and adaptation to changing and more extreme conditions were raised as necessary strategies.

FAO figures show that increasing production is not the silver bullet – the world already produces 40 percent more than is needed.


Posted in Agriculture, Desertification, family farming

Climate change and Food Security (IPS)

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Measuring How Climate Change Affects Africa’s Food Security

By Xavi Fernández de Castro

For the past 40 years Josephine Kakiyi, 55, has been cultivating maize, beans and vegetables on her small plot of land in the remote area of Kwa Vonza, in Kitui County, eastern Kenya.

Even though this has always been a hot and semi-arid region, over the last 15 years Kakiyi has noticed that the rainfall has reduced and become increasingly unpredictable.

She doesn’t exactly know why this is happening. The only thing she knows for sure is that “now it’s harder to say when it will rain.”

But farmers all over Kenya, and in most African countries, are facing similar problems.

Experts from around the world are certain that climate change is playing a major role in the difficulties Kakiyi and hundreds of thousands of other farmers are experiencing on the continent.

The report also states that “floods, drought, shifts in the timing and amount of rainfall, and high temperatures associated with climate change could directly affect crop and livestock productivity.”

All of these phenomena, when combined, may easily create numerous crises on a continent that is expected to double its population to 2.4 billion by 2050.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World report, published this year by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the U.N. (FAO) and  International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), estimates that there is around 227 million undernourished people in Africa – a fifth of the continent’s’ population.


Posted in Climate / climate change, Desertification, food / food security

Africa can accelerate its march to sustainable development (IPS)

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Sustaining Africa’s Development by Leveraging on Climate Change

Analysis by Busani Bafana

By leveraging knowledge on climate change, like adopting improved agriculture technologies and using water and energy more effectively, Africa can accelerate its march to sustainable development.

Policy and development practitioners say Africa is at a development cross roads and argue that the continent — increasingly an attractive destination for economic and agriculture investment — should use the window of opportunity presented by a low carbon economy to implement new knowledge and information to transform the challenges posed by climate change into opportunities for social development.

“Climate change is not just a challenge for Africa but also an opportunity to trigger innovation and the adoption of better technologies that save on water and energy,” Fatima Denton, director of the special initiatives division at theUnited Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), told IPS.

“At the core of the climate change debate is human security and we can achieve sustainability by using climate data and information services and feeding that knowledge into critical sectors and influence policy making.”

Africa, while enjoying a mining-driven economic boom, should look at revitalising the agriculture sector to drive economic development and growth under the framework of the new sustainable development goals, she said.

Denton said that for too long the climate change narrative in Africa has been about agriculture as a vulnerable sector. But this sector, she said, can be a game changer for the African continent through sustainable agriculture. In Africa, agriculture employs more than 70 percent of population and remains a major contributor to the GDP of many countries.

Climate-smart agriculture is being touted as one of the mechanisms for climate-proofing Africa’s agriculture. CGIAR— a global consortium of 15 agricultural research centres — has dedicated approximately half its one-billion-dollar annual budget towards researching how to support smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa through climate-smart agriculture.


Posted in Agriculture, Climate / climate change, Desertification, energy/bioenergy/biofuels, sustainable development

The Great Green Wall and Ethiopia (Google / World Bulletin)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Ethiopia to endorse anti-desertification scheme

The Initiative aims to combat soil degradation and reduce poverty in Africa’s Sahel-Saharan region, focusing on a strip of land – 15km wide and 7100km long – from Dakar to Djibouti.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Wednesday that his country would soon endorse a pan-African initiative aimed at combatting desertification.

The announcement came during a meeting in Addis Ababa between Desalegn and Mauritanian Environment Minister Amedi Camara, Ethiopia’s state-run ENA news agency reported.

The scheme, dubbed “the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative,” was originally established by 11 African countries.

The initiative aims to plant a wall of trees across the southern edge of the Sahara Desert as a means of preventing desertification.

Only seven of the 11 countries have officially endorsed the pact. While Ethiopia is one of the initiative’s co-founders, it has yet to formally endorse the agreement.

Ethiopia, the news agency quoted Desalegn as saying, “will endorse and implement the pact soon in relation to its food-security and environmental protection strategy.”


Posted in Desertification, Great Green Wall (GGW)

4.5-year program to bolster sustainable land management and restore drylands (Google / Farm Chemicals Int.)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Anti-Desertification Effort To Create More Demand For Crop Inputs in Africa

The European Union (EU) and FAO in collaboration with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) have launched a €41 million, 4.5-year program to bolster sustainable land management and restore drylands and degraded lands in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The program, named Action Against Desertification, is designed to fight hunger and poverty, foster stability and build resilience to climate change in some of the world’s most vulnerable areas, the program sponsors say. It will teach farmers about the causes of desertification and the best ways to combat and prevent it, which could create more demand for crop inputs in Africa.

“Desertification and land degradation are very serious challenges. They lead to hunger and poverty, themselves at the root of many conflicts,” said José Graziano da Silva, FAO’s Director-General about the need for the program. “But recent successes show that these problems are not insurmountable. We can boost food security, improve livelihoods and help people adapt to climate change.”


Posted in Agriculture, Climate / climate change, Desertification, hunger / famine, poverty