TheWaterChannel NewsFlash: May 15, 2014
Low-tech, High-impact Farm Innovations
David Njeru grows multiple crops in his small farm in Kenya. One of them is maize. After harvesting the cobs, he lets the residue dry and uses it as mulch- covering the soil to keep its moisture from evaporating. His green farm is surrounded by drier fields. His neighbours ask “Do you have your own rain?”
Similarly, in Tajikistan, Iskander Mirzoev’s fruit farm is a bit of a paradise in the middle of a degraded landscape. To cope with increasingly frequent warm, dry spells he started grafting 2-3 different fruit varieties on the same tree. When one variety doesn’t produce fruits, another one does. “This is my own research station,” he says, pointing to a tree bearing 4 different varieties of pears.
As the world’s brightest minds work on achieving cold fusion and colonising Mars inside hi-tech laboratories, less celebrated scientists like Iskander and Njeru try to innovate everyday to stay ahead of climate variability and water shortage. Their work is not the cutting edge of human knowledge. Nevertheless, it contributes very directly to improving the lives of the poor and the vulnerable.
The videos ’Building Resilience- People with Greener Land' and ‘Improving Land Productivity…’ feature the work of Njeru, Iskander and other farm innovators from across the world. And try to analyse if certain fundamental principles bind them together.
These videos have been produced by WOCAT- World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies.
With Regards,TheWaterChannel Team