Rabbit and Fish Agroforest 2

 AGROFOREST WITH RABBITS

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization for a more productive Rabbits in an Agroforest.

What is Agroforestry?

Agroforestry can help to achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation while at the same time providing livelihoods for poor smallholder farmers in Africa.

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Agroforestry is a collective name for land-use systems and technologies in which woody perennials (trees, shrubs, palms, bamboos, etc.) are deliberately combined on the same management unit with herbaceous crops and/or animals. For example, the African oil palm, when grown as part of an agroforestry system and treated well, can provide a valuable and healthy source of oil for local consumption. Simultaneously, planting legumes (including edible beans, cow pea, pigeon pea) is essential to ensure healthy and fertile soils in an agroforestry system, as they replenish the nitrogen taken away with the harvest. These legumes can be grown as cover crops, inter-cropped or in rotation.

Many small holder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have already been practicing agroforestry. These systems have prevailed despite persistent attempts to introduce mono-culture production of annual crops, which have been much less successful in Africa than elsewhere. Agroforestry has been shown to provide a number of benefits to farmers. For instance, it can enhance soil fertility in many situations and improve farm household resilience through provision of additional products for sale or home consumption.

Agroforestry has a potential to contribute to food security and to meet the challenge of climate change. More ecological techniques such as agroforestry can improve yields, while increasing biodiversity and not requiring imports of foreign fertilizers and seeds, together with high genetic diversity in traditional crop mixtures, ensured most stable yields.  Trees also tap into deep groundwater rather than top soil moisture that annual crops rely on.

Trees are in fact critical to agricultural production everywhere. When crops and livestock fail, trees often withstand drought conditions and allow people to hold over until the next season. They also provide non-wood products such as indigenous fruits, mushrooms, thatch grass and material for medicinal use.

Agroforestry is often absent from recommendations for ensuring food security under climate change, even though many practices have been shown to deliver benefits for rural development, buffer against climate variability, help rural populations adapt to climate change and contribute to climate change mitigation. 

Many studies have shown that agroforestry practices can slow or reverse land degradation, sequester carbon from the atmosphere and secure rural livelihoods through provision of ecological and economic benefits. 

 A recent paper showed that agroforestry reduced food insecurity during drought and flooding in western Kenya by 25% due to increased income and improved livelihoods. 

In Malawi, maize yields were increased up to 280% in the zone under the tree canopy compared with the zone outside the tree canopy. In Zambia, recent unpublished observations showed that unfertilized maize yields in the vicinity of the Faidherbia acacia tree averaged 4.1 tonnes per hectare, compared to 1.3 tonnes nearby but beyond the tree canopy. They recommend that farmers establish 100  Faidherbia trees on each hectare of maize that is planted.

In Africa, there is very little high quality produce…period. If you have high quality vegetables and fish, you will find a market.

One could  simply filled in our Single Crop Projection Tool V1.1.xlsx spreadsheet with their local expense and income numbers, and find out if one  also lost money on paper, without even spending $10,000!

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Why Rabbits in an Agroforest?

You can raise baby rabbits (gestation period) in 30 days (goats: 150 days, cattle: 280 days). Rabbits give birth to an average of 5 kits and 8 or more kits are not uncommon. Rabbits eats a large variety of greens and crop residues; and thus easy to collect (grass, weeds, leaves) or generated from weeding crop fields. The meat is lean and has a very low cholesterol content when compared to other animal protein. It is encouraged as a healthy meat for hospital patients.

One will have 800-1000 rabbits in 4000 m 2 (i.e. 1 rabbit to 4-5 m 2 space). At least 100 rabbits will be removed/harvested every month.

Micro-livestock will play a growing role in animal protein supply in the very near future. Like the development of ostrich meat industry as a luxury meat, rabbit meat industry will develop quickly and serve as a meat for both the poor and the rich.

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One acre Farm Colony and the Fish Canal that borders it Continue reading Rabbit and Fish Agroforest 2

The Rabbit Fish Farm 2

THE RABBIT COLONY & OUR MISSION 

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization for a more productive Rabbit Colony Farm.

1. Rabbit Colony Farm

Basics: land space needed is about 10 m² per breeding doe. Weaned rabbits are removed from mother and placed into separate enclosure(s). There are various options and methods for creating the “barrier”.

2. Rural Community:

Basics: a unit is a rabbit cage for 2 breeding does (1 m 2 or more in size) in a family backyard. A family can have more than one unit.

Option 1: weaned rabbits is sold to or exchanged for an adult rabbit at the rabbit farm

Option 2: family who wishes to keep weaned rabbits until they are 2 kg in weight can still sell to rabbit farm that helps in marketing.

The goal is to build a rabbit colony farm of 1 acre (4046 m²or 43,560 ft² ) and to contain about 1000 rabbits (asset value of 200,000 Ksh). One will have a 10 m wide canal surround it to serve as a physical barrier and to grow fish; instead of constructing a fence that extends 2 ft underground and at least 3 ft (1 m) high. The fish “canal” will also yield an income (wire fencing don’t).

In a free range rabbit keeping one must activate a self-catching system (otherwise you have to shoot them), one must keep the density of rabbit very low otherwise diseases will be a problem. Broilers, exceeding bucks and old does must be collected regularly and sent to the market. Greedy farmers tend to increase the number of rabbits quickly and lose the lot of them at the end.
There will be a need for a structure with indoor enclosures with outdoor “runs” to keep rabbits for a few days to prepare for an order for meat. For this there will have a multi-purpose building/workshop outside the “restricted” area (i.e. the 1 acre colony and the fish canal that borders it).

Since costs of construction of cages is the main hurdle, one approach is that weaned rabbits are delivered to the Rabbit Farm in exchange for adult rabbits. This way each family only needs to have only one cage and they can even avoid keeping a male adult. There are other benefits from their partnership with the Rabbit Farm, which will help to slaughter and market them.

It would be wise to build a proper peripheral fence. This is essential to avoid conflicts (people/thefts, owners of animals/predators). Eventually it needs to be done as the food situation becomes worse in the future.

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It is amazing at the rate at which these rabbits give birth: Continue reading The Rabbit Fish Farm 2

Living Water Aquaponics Farm 2

AQUAPONIC FARM & OUR MISSION 

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization for a more productive Aquaponics Farm.

The Aquaponic Garden Farm

Generally, seeds sprout up seemingly overnight and then their growth is incredible. We use a combination of methods to start seeds and each method results in healthy gorgeous plants.  

Lettuce was found to grow well under 50% shade cover from a shade cloth. The raceways can be covered with shade cloth. Other varieties of lettuce such as Manoa lettuce or romaine lettuce were found to grow well; kai choi and bok choy (Brassica juncea) and basil (Ocimum basilicum) have also done well. Other farmers grow beets, cucumber, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and watercress.

One can grow a variety of organic seeds in each of these categories in this farm:

  • Basil
  • Green Peppers
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Over 100 varieties of Lettuce
  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • Dozens of varieties of tomatoes
  • India Mustard
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Long Green Beans
  • Dozens of varieties of Asian greens
  • Pak Choi
  • Kale
  • Eggplant
  • A variety of herbs

Since plants don’t have to compete for water in aquaponics gardens, they may be planted quite densely.   One can use cutting from herbs, tomatoes, and the base of a celery stalk.

An aquaponic system can help to teach kids about how plants and fish grow, and to teach them about the ecological interactions that are occurring between the fish, the plants and their environment.

Untitled-9cSoil cultivation is time consuming and labor intensive, although
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The Aquaponics Farm

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime…But why does the man have no fish? Not just through charitable funds, but we engender a genuine partnership with the oppressed. We develop Leadership Skills.

What should a community do with its unused land?

  1. The concept of an Agro forestry farm allows farmers to support themselves with crops while the trees of an orchard eventually become productive between 3 to 5 years. Net Present Value (NPV) of a tree is $1.49. (100 trees in 1/2 acre): $149
  2. Carbon Tax Funds will make a difference not just for the life of one person, but to an entire global community. Carbon sequestration of trees is the only solution to soak up excess carbon dioxide in the world: $1.49/tree
  3. Micro forestry enables communities of farm families to accomplish what none could accomplish by working alone. Over ten years, a woman farmer earns more than $5,600 from a half acre of trees and one acre of short-term crops.
  4. The Colony Rabbit Farm does the marketing and slaughtering: a two-month-old rabbit for breeding fetches at least 2,500 Ksh. On average 200 kits/month will be traded for 50 adult rabbits from the farm and the families return home with them or sell them to the farm at about 180 Ksh each: 36,000 Ksh
  5. The landlord earns fees for leasing his or her unused land with an offer to purchase.
  6. The women farmers and their families in groups of five (non-related) have access to micro loans and the long term sublease of their land.
  7. The nutrient-rich water generated by fish farming is used to fertilize nearby gardens and trees while producing 1,500 kg of fish per year.
  8. An irrigation/micro hydro system near flowing water without a dam in remote areas of underdeveloped countries is the second phase of our project: 780 Kw for 100,000 African households

Living Water Aquaponics Farm

How we can Grow 10 Times the Food in Half the Time

Continue reading Living Water Aquaponics Farm 2

THE PLOW VERSUS THE TRACTOR 2

 The PLOW versus the TRACTOR

In order to prepare the soil for planting, tilling or plowing the soil removes weeds and shapes the soil into rows for crop plants.

A light, inexpensive metal plow that is pulled by a donkey or an ox can help overcome this problem. It allow for earlier planting because of high productivity. The plow is made lighter than many plows in other part of the world due to the arid conditions and the fact that it is being pulled by one donkey only or sometimes by a camel.

The kind of plow is an intermediate technology, which has been used for years in the Middle East and Asia. Studies have shown that families that have access to a donkey and a plow can increase their harvests by 500%.

The development of an intermediate technology brings together farming, metalworking and the production of improved harnesses. The metal comes from scrap, which is usually obtained from old vehicles. The blade, for example, would be made from leaf springs from old suspensions. The steel is useful as it can easily be hardened through quenching by a blacksmith to produce a hard wearing surface.

Plow versus tractorPlow versus tractor

One ox on credit, 20 kg of a variety of seed grains and a plow and harvest cost US$200.

Bullock drawn disc harrow: The operator’s seat enables the operator to ride instead of walking, which helps in deeper penetration and reduces drudgery.

Plow versus tractor

Ransome Victory (Moldboard) Plow, which is commonly used throughout Southern Africa, was quickly adopted over earlier, heavier models that required multiple spans (teams) of oxen.

Plow versus tractor
Plow versus tractor

The advantages of the Ransome Victory plow are that it is relatively cheap (US$100–200 requires only a single span of oxen to pull, and in wet soils, can be handled by even a youth.

There are always problems along the way: the lack of high-quality feed during the dry season limited the single ox especially for the first cultivation of the season.

The disadvantages of the Ransome Victory are its relatively shallow draft (20 cm), the fragility of the torsion bar, and the short plowshare, which tends to leave an uneven, smeared furrow in clayey soils unless well-handled. Furthermore, the Ransome Victory plow is nearly unusable in dry soils, limiting its use until after seasonal rains have sufficiently saturated the soil.

The annual plowing of fields without fallowing or sub-soiling (“ripping”) has led to severe losses of topsoil due to surface erosion. Furthermore, the repeated plowing at the same depth has caused the formation of hard pans due to the weight of the land side pushing down on the underlying soil. This hard pan restricts water infiltration, limiting the soil’s ability to absorb and retain water; it also severely restricts root growth of crops, which in turn has a negative impact on crop yield. 

TO PLOW DEEPER WITH A TRACTOR

Continue reading THE PLOW VERSUS THE TRACTOR 2

SEVEN BILLION TREES 2

THE HARD WAY: $100 THRILL ION

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EASY WAY: 7 BILLION TREES: $7 BILLION

Tropical trees cool earth most effectively, working 12 months of the year sequestering carbon dioxide emissions.  We need to plant seven billions of trees in Africa and the Amazon.

 NASA estimates that there are currently 400 billion trees globally. Every newly planted tree seedling in the tropics removes an average of 50 kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere each year during its growth period of 20–50 years, compared with 13 kilograms of CO2 per year for a tree in the temperate regions. 

The addition of just seven billion trees in Africa (one for every person on Earth) would therefore give us a further 16 years of safe climate at our current rate of emissions. 

An average of $6 billion per year plus $1 billion for incentives for ten years could pay for the reforestation program. The total cost of $7 billion of trees in Africa  per year for ten years is about 1% of the world’s total annual military expenditures.

Most tropical hardwoods grow to maturity quickly (10 to 20 years) Compare a 5 year old tropical tree to a five year old northern counterpart, and you can easily see the difference in size: half of wood weight is carbon

Tropical trees take up water from rainfall and evaporate it through their leaves, and create cloud cover. These clouds reflect even more sunlight than grasslands or bare earth, thus cooling the earth more. By contrast, trees in snowy places like Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia absorb sunlight that would otherwise be reflected back to space by the bright white snow.  But in the tropics forests helped cool the planet by an average of 0.7 C, according to one study.

Forests act as a carbon sink by taking carbon dioxide out of atmosphere, but the more the climate is warming, the slower the trees are growing, the less carbon they suck up. These acclimated trees release far less CO2 at night, which are trees suddenly exposed to hot temperatures.  This hints that future CO2 emissions from Northern Hemisphere forests won’t be as large as scientists thought, even though they would still be on the rise.

It seems like simple arithmetic: a tree can absorb up to a ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime (25 – 40 years), so planting one should be an easy way to mitigate climate change.

Over time they deplete their resources and are much more susceptible to additional stressors, such as damage by fire or a big drought or insect outbreaks.

Remember that tropical trees work 12 months of the year sequestering carbon because there is no dormant winter season. We need to plant billions of trees in Africa and the Amazon.

The Perfect Storm

billions trees Africa

When escalating global warming crosses one or more of the important climate tipping points you create the perfect storm of perfect storms: irreversible global warming. This will destabilize the global; it will then destabilize the global political landscape of functioning nations. As the climate, the global economy, and the political landscape of functioning nations destabilize, it will soon destabilize all of the normal social aspects of our individual lives, businesses, and organizations.

billions trees Africa
Billions of trees in Africa will make the Difference!

Continue reading SEVEN BILLION TREES 2