Helping farmers in West Africa for self-sustainability
Written By Shan Bhutyan
We know that farming is the key to not only for self-sustainability but also social sustainability. It has higher values over other basic needs because it can fulfill someone's own and others food demand. Limited and unsafe food causes malnutrition, social problems and diseases. However, some region and places are not fertile and weather is unfriendly for some crops or any crops. Our goal in West Africa regions is to encourage, educate, find alternative to increase food production for their self-sustainability.
At first, we need to identify the key problem that associated with farming. After identifying the problems, we can find solutions, alternatives and provide the facilities to apply them.
· Educate & listen to farmers
· Farming equipment
· Innovative techniques
· Finding regional friendly crops
· Providing resources and distribution
For efficiency, we educate the farmers to use the land best way possible, taking advantage of certain opportunities and avoiding certain disadvantage. We listen to the problems, create a panel to find solutions and get back to educate them. In addition, we can also identify problems from other local sources. We advise on seeding, planting, harvesting , type of crops that they should plant and early weather alert etc.
Proper farming equipment can help farmers to increase efficiency, which will encourage them to increase productivity. Depending on the region, finding and providing ideal equipment can be a great achievement. Equipment can double productivity. For example, farming start with soil preparation so a single tractor can be a great start for many farmers.
Innovative techniques like finding the alternative to the problems like if the soil is not friendly to the crops we can use alternative for the soil. It can be hydroponic, aquaponic, altering, or modifying the land. On the other hand, if the weather is unfriendly we can try to find possible solution to coup and take advantage from weather for later use. Alternatively, in unfriendly situation we can look for small scales farming opportunities or other farming models.
Finding and testing a crops or plant that exists and thrive in other regions, which might also have possibility to adopt in West African region. In addition, coordinating with farming related research that related to the region.
To provide resources, we find affordable and suitable equipment and supplies, which will best fit their needs. Farmers with no land can be the owner of a equipment and provide services to others. In addition, farmers with minimal land can transform to nursery like and have access to greenhouse to produce starter plants on time.
A single crop, an equipment or a method can bring great changes for a farmer. So, let us help to identify the problems, find solutions and apply those solutions to build West Africa's farming infrastructure. Please visit www.ItTakesAVillageAfrica.org to learn more ways to get involve in farming in Liberia.