Bottle towers for alleviating malnutrition

 

Photo credit WVC P1080581.JPG

Planting seedlings of vegetables and herbs in the recycled plastic bottles.

BOTTLE TOWER VARIANTS FOR FRESH FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE DRYLANDS

It’s so simple and easy. Why wouldn’t hungry and malnourished people build some themselves ?

One of the best practices for development cooperation.

See: Building a bottle tower for container gardening

http://youtu.be/-uDbjZ9roEQ

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Soon after planting the seedlings, young vegetables and herbs are growing quickly and harvesting can start, e.g. lettuce leaves at the right. – * Bottle Towers WVC 322133_101112709993771_100002851261908_2439_2626124_o.jpg
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Bottle towers standing upright on pallets. – * Bottle towers on a pallet – Photo WVC – P1080463.JPG
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Bottle towers with strawberries.Underneath each tower a bottle is collecting the surplus of irrigation water, loaded with nutrients. That water can easily be recycled by pouring it on top of the tower. – * Bottle towers – strawberries – Photo Pauline Nelson – 565435_283588941760201_1896170039_n.jpg
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Wouldn’t it be nice if parents could offer these strawberries to their kids in the drylands ? – * Bottle towers – strawberries – Photo Pauline Nelson – 565290_283588961760199_1317560849_n.jpg
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Strawberries, herbs and lettuce growing against the wall. That’s one of the best practices to combat malnutrition – * Bottle towers – Phpto Sendanatura Jimdo – – sembrando-en-pet.jpg
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Different vegetables growing on bottle towers – * Bottle towers – Photo Scuola Dantelafalda – DSCN2839.JPG
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Massive production of vegetables – * Bottle towers – Photo Scuola Dantelafalda – DSCN2837.JPG
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This is not a dream, but reality: food aid in its purest form. This water saving method can be multiplied all over the world, even in the driest places. – * Bottle towers – Photo Scuola Dantelafalda – DSCN2514.JPG

See our video:

Building a bottle tower for container gardening

<http://youtu.be/-uDbjZ9roEQ&gt;

Plastic bottles stacked into a bottle tower can be recycled to set up a vertical kitchen garden at home. The bottle towers are used for container gardening of vegetables and herbs. How to build such a tower is shown in different steps.

Ecosysytems and reforestation

Photo credit: Bioversity International

Dr Moussa Ouédraogo, Director of the National Tree Seed Centre, Burkina Faso,

Why seeds for trees matter in ecosystem restoration efforts in Burkina Faso

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed in Nagoya in 2012 included restoring 15% of the world’s degraded ecosystems by 2020 (Target 15). Subsequent assessments have led to estimates that for terrestrial ecosystems, this 15% means restoring a staggering 350 million hectares – and requires billions of tons of tree seed and trillions of seedlings.

In this second blog in the CBD COP13 Forest and Landscape Restoration Blog Series, Bioversity International partner, Dr Moussa Ouédraogo, Director of the National Tree Seed Centre, Burkina Faso, outlines longstanding efforts to supply quality seeds for restoration initiatives and the challenges they are facing.

When assessing ecosystem restoration opportunities in a country, it is important to analyze what institutional, policy, and legal frameworks, as well as financial and technical resources exist or are lacking that can either support or hinder ecosystem restoration plans. This need is also highlighted in the Short-term Action Plan on Ecosystem Restoration that the Conference of Parties to the CBD which is expected to be adopted in Cancun as a guidance to countries and other actors interested in restoration.

Regarding institutional capacities, one aspect often overlooked in restoration planning is the ability of existing tree seed supply systems to provide the quantity and quality of seed required for meeting restoration goals. We spoke to Dr Moussa Ouédraogo, newly appointed Director of the Centre National de Semences Forestières (CNSF – National Tree Seed Centre) in Burkina Faso about his research centre’s longstanding efforts to supply quality seeds for restoration initiatives in the country and the challenges they are facing. More than 30 years after its establishment, the centre remains a reference for the Sahelian region with its pivotal role in supporting tree planting efforts in the region.

Q: Why is restoration important for Burkina Faso?

Dr Moussa Ouédraogo: Burkina Faso is a land-locked country. We experienced major droughts in the 1970s, which caused large-scale tree mortality, land degradation and pushed desertification processes. Nature could not recuperate alone after these dramatic events and human intervention was needed to revert land degradation. The need to restore became evident.

At the technical level, many approaches were attempted in order to restore the resource base needed for agriculture and agroforestry. Soil restoration techniques, to improve fertility and soil quality, were adopted due to support and maintain agriculture production. These were coupled with water management techniques and with assisted natural regeneration. Re-establishing a tree cover could mean planting within an existing forest area, in order to increase diversity, or direct/sowing and planting on a totally bare land.

Read the full article: Bioversity International

To bring degraded lands back to life

 

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http://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/user_upload/about_us/news/People/Traor_.jpg

Restoring lands and livelihoods in Burkina Faso: The business of one association

Effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and women in ecosystem restoration is one of the three main principles of the Action Plan on Ecosystem Restoration that the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are expected to adopt at their next Conference in Cancun in December. Effective participation is both the ends and means of ecosystem restoration, but is not easily achieved.

A Burkinabè association tiipaalga (meaning ‘new tree’) has worked with the country’s farmers for over a decade to help them bring their degraded lands back to life. The organization’s aim is to help improve ecosystems for the purpose of improving the well-being of local households. The organization considers – and calls – farmers its partners. Mr Alain Traoré, Director of tiipaalga, shares insights from his long-term efforts in fostering farmer-led restoration initiatives in Burkina Faso.

This is the fifth blog in the CBD COP13 Forest and Landscape Restoration Blog Serieshighlighting why mainstreaming agricultural and tree biodiversity in sustainable food and production systems is critical to achieve the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, with a particular focus on forest and landscape restoration.

Q: What is tiipaalga’s approach in supporting farmers?

A: Our main approach is assisted natural regeneration, which is a low-cost forest restoration method aimed at accelerating growth of existing natural regeneration by removing competition from weeds and other disturbances and creating a more favorable micro-environment for growth. In some cases, if natural regeneration is not sufficient, planting of valuable species to supplement the existing tree populations (enrichment planting) can be carried out.

While we support planting trees, we recommend farmers only plant in small numbers, to allow them to maintain the trees. There is no point in planting one million trees which we cannot tend. It’s better to plant 10 trees per year and in 50 years we will have all we want. We want our partners [farmers] to be sure to be able to care for their trees so they can bring life; as our slogan says: “a tree for life”.

Read the full article: Bioversity International

One in three people suffers some form of malnutrition – Enormous economic burden

 

Photo credit: FAO

A farming family in Kyrgyzstan takes a break from the day’s work to share a meal.

Malnutrition in the crosshairs

One in three people suffers some form of malnutrition – Enormous economic burden – International meeting searches for ways to improve diets and food systems

Responding to the mounting impacts of malnutrition on public health and economic development — estimated to cost $3.5 trillion per year — via a shift to healthier diets and food systems will be the subject of a high-level symposium kicking off here today.

The International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition (1-2 December) will look at country-level challenges and successes to shed light on effective approaches to reshaping food production, processing, marketing and retail systems to better tackle the problem of malnutrition, which blights the lives of billions of individuals and can trap generations in a vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition.

Lamenting the fact that one in three people on the planet suffers from some form of malnutrition — either undernutrition or overweight and obesity — FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said that “no country is immune” from the problem whose “human, social, environmental and economic costs are overwhelming” during his opening remarks at the event co-organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Graziano da Silva pledged FAO’s support to help countries “adopt a food systems approach to address all states of the food chain: from production and processing to marketing and consumption.”

“Nutrition must be considered a public issue, a State responsibility,” he said, adding that “consumers must be empowered to choose healthy food and diets” through nutrition-sensitive social protection, nutrition education, and effective and accurate labelling and advertising.

Governments should encourage diversification of agriculture, improved post-harvest management, facilitate market access for poor family farmers and guarantee food-safety, he added.

Read the full article: FAO

 

Drought-tolerant maize seed

 

Promoting drought-tolerant maize seed in Southern Africa

The five-minute video shows CIMMYT’s work in seed systems
development and promotion. The main aim of the seed fairs, held in Mutoko and Murewa districts in Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe, was to help smallholder farmers access information that would help them make informed decisions in coping with drought and climate change adaptation.

NEW IMPROVED PIGEONPEA VARIETY

 

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Farmers conducting participatory variety selection in Lundazi district in Zambia (Inset) ICEAP 00554. Photo: ICRISAT

NEW IMPROVED PIGEONPEA VARIETY RELEASED IN ZAMBIA TO WITHSTAND CLIMATE CHANGE

A new medium duration pigeonpea variety MPPV 2 (ICEAP 00554) was released for general cultivation in sole and intercropping systems of Zambia. The new variety has many profitable traits. It has wider climate adaptability and pest tolerance, high yield potential, attractive grains and is suitable to ratooning and can be used as green peas. Pigeonpea is gaining popularity in Zambia, due to its climate adaptability, suitability to prevailing cropping systems, farmers and consumers preference and market opportunities.

MPPV 2 is a distinct, stable and uniform variety with non-determinate and semi-spreading growth habit. It flowers in about 85-90 days and matures in 150-160 days. Each pod contains 6-7 seeds. Shellability of green pods is excellent and the variety is suitable for ratooning.  Seeds are large white/cream with 100-seed mass of 17-19 g. It has excellent dehulling quality of up to 85% and therefore suitable for processing. The potential yield of immature grain is 7-10 tons per hectare and dry grain is 1.8-3.4 tons per hectare.

For over 15 years, Zambia had only one officially released improved pigeonpea variety which was of long duration. Over the years the yields from this variety started dwindling due to climate change characterized by shorter seasons. Therefore the new variety was released by fast tracking efforts after several on-station trials, farmer participatory varietal selection trials, large-scale demonstrations and seed bulking.

Read the full article: Icrisat

RECLAIMING DEGRADED LAND

 

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Women participants with their harvest from crops grown on reclaimed land Photo: S Abdoussalam, ICRISAT

WOMEN FARMERS DOUBLE INCOMES AND ENHANCE HOUSEHOLD NUTRITION BY RECLAIMING DEGRADED LAND

In eastern Niger, 241 hectares of degraded land was converted into productive farms for 10,770 women through the Bio-reclamation of Degraded Lands (BDL) system. This has resulted in a 50% increase in agri-income over non-BDL participants. These impacts are from a mid-term evaluation study conducted at the end of three years of a five-year project.

The results were shared with the local communities in 172 villages in the district of Mayahi (Maradi region) and Kantche (Zinder region) in a series of meetings over the past few months.

The initial results of the impact evaluation conducted by the ICRISAT socio-economics team show that the BDL system had a positive effect on women by giving them access to land and increasing their income. The 0.02 hectare piece of land allocated to each woman in the BDL plot of 1 ha resulted in an average increase in the household income of women participants by 14,345 FCFA (US$26) which is approximately a 50% increase over non-BDL participants. This does not include income from the forestry component, which if added raised the average household income to US$100.

The BDL system has an agroforestry component that incorporates high-value trees and vegetables in a holistic system, with the aim of reversing damage to soils caused by overgrazing and intensive farming. It is a climate-smart technology that helps regenerate the landscape by improving soil fertility through carbon sequestration via tree roots and reducing soil erosion.

The technology developed by ICRISAT had two main components – water harvesting techniques and high-value nutritious trees and annual crops.

Read the full article: ICRISAT