Introduction of new vegetables and fruit species, thanks to free seeds from the SEEDS FOR FOOD action
Growing food crops in container to alleviate drought
by Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University, Belgium)
Nobody will deny that growing food crops in container has a lot of advantages. Saving a lot of water is one of the most important ones.
That’s what I was thinking of when I received these nice photos of my friends Ilonka DE ROOIJ and Rafael VAN BOGAERT, enthusiast managers of an interesting project in Casamance, Senegal.
Not only convinced of the positive effect of container gardening on limitation of water consumption, but also of the introduction of some drought-tolerant plant species, like the spineless prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica var. inermis), they are introducing in Casamance a number of new technologies, e.g. a desalinisation technology developed by Rafael himself, sack gardening, water saving, the “Seeds for Food” action, etc. …
Please have a look at their photos and get convinced of the importance of these “best practices”. They deserve to be multiplied in all the drylands to alleviate drought and to combat desertification (saving water and producing food and fodder).
Ebola: World Bank will provide seeds to farmers in West Africa to ward off hunger
The World Bank Group announced today that it has mobilized some $15 million in emergency financing to provide a record 10,500 tons of maize and rice seed to more than 200,000 farmers in the countries most-affected by the unprecedented Ebola outbreak, in time for the April planting season.
“Agriculture is the lifeline of the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice-President for Africa. “By speeding supplies of urgently needed seeds of major food crops to communities in West Africa, we are jumpstarting recovery in rural areas and preventing the looming specter of hunger in the countries hardest hit by Ebola.”
According to the World Bank, “more than one million people could go hungry unless they have reliable access to food and emergency measures are taken immediately to safeguard crop and livestock production.”
A recent World Bank Group report shows that the Ebola crisis has taken a heavy toll on the economies in all three countries, and the agriculture and food sectors have been particularly hard hit.
“Reports show that desperate farming families have resorted to eating stored seed originally intended for use in the next cropping cycle. Rural flight has caused harvest-ready crops to wither in the fields,” the World Bank said in its announcement.