Over the years I have seen many attempts, and been involved in some myself, where there has been an attempt to introduce vegetable production in resource poor communities. This one – The African Market Garden (AMG) seems to address a number of the problems I saw and refreshingly provides some hard information on costs and incomes.
(click image for full story online)
The model seems to be most often attributed to ICRISAT but is being developed in a number of areas by organisations including Stanford & Ben Gurion Universities, MASAV, CIGAR and AVRDC.
In a sense its a very simple blending of simple technologies to provide a solution that matches the needs and circumstances of the poor farmers involved.
- drip irrigation to minimise the amount of water required
- the optimisation of production through crop selection and training
- the balancing of household use and sale for income
- solar energy to eliminate running costs such as electricity or diesel
- an affordable capital cost
No new technology in that! just implementation!
The question is how have so many projects, which presented similar simple models, not managed to succeed – I believe its the commitment and dedication of the right people.
Some links to other stories: