GREEN REVOLUTION & 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 into Africa for more productive agriculture for a Green Revolution.
Banish the Hoe to the Museums
The post-war green revolution that transformed Asia seemed to have bypassed Africa. In order to reverse the trend and end the hunger in the region and lift millions of people out of extreme poverty and sustain Africa’s economic growth, what is required is an African Green Revolution. It is Africa’s turn!
Agriculture generates up to 50 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), contributing more than 80 percent of trade in value and more than 50 percent of raw materials to industries. It provides employment for the majority of Africa’s people.
The majority of people are living a subsistence existence off the land, much of which is marginal and deteriorating through over use or erosion.
Population growth and population migration will soon be compounded by other problems, such as climate change and energy supply issues, to make the situation even more unsustainable. Some crops may become impossible to grow in the places where they are grown today.
Since 1961 the total value of all agricultural production in Africa has risen fourfold. In Africa much of the new production just came from new land. Yet, the continent as a whole exports less farm produce than Thailand.
If POTENTIAL were edible, Africa would have the best-fed people on earth. The vast continent has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, most of it unfarmed. The land already under cultivation, mostly by small farmers, could produce far more. Crop yields in Africa are between one-third and one-half of the global average. The quality of soil is often poor, because of over farming, but that could be fixed by fertilizers. With the right know-how and inputs, Africa’s farmers could double productivity.
In Malawi the country has become fixated on mono-cropping one crop—maize—during a short 4 month rainy season and then harvesting this crop in one month—April. When April rolls around, all the maize is brought in and stored and then the land remains essentially vacant until the following April. This over-reliance on one crop has also led to chronic malnutrition, with around 47% of Malawi’s children under the age of 5 presenting as nutritionally ‘stunted’.
As local farmers struggle to afford the inputs such as chemical fertilizers and hybrid seeds to ensure their maize harvest, many have come to look upon traditional staple crops—such as sorghum, millets, and yams—with disdain. Farmers know that these crops still readily grow without the need for fertilizers and that the seeds are open-pollinated, meaning they can be saved for free and re-planted each year without the need for any financial inputs, but due to the ‘stigmatization’ of these traditional crops—of which there are hundreds—many of these have come to be viewed as a ‘last resort’ rather than a ‘first choice’. These crops already do exactly what researchers have spent the last 60 years or so trying to get maize to do; they are drought-resistant, pest-resistant, disease-resistant, high-yielding, and often exceptionally nutritious when compared to a crop like maize.
Diversification holds the key to unlocking Africa’s true potential; it allows for the implementation of agricultural systems that offer daily access to diversified nutrition on a seasonal and year-round basis. It helps to restore soil fertility and conserve water, it allows farmers to break their economic dependency on expensive agricultural ‘inputs’.
Here is a success story: a farmer started farming on 1 hectare of land in Bindura, Zimbabwe with 1 hectare of BP1 potatoes 3 years ago. The money to plant one hectare was more than half a year’s wages: $3,500. As individuals he and the five families sharing the farms are doing very well. Three years later the farmer rehabilitated the farm infrastructure, and is now planting 12 hectares a growing season. Their biggest problem is access to markets and finance. The farmer could probably get up to 100 hectares of potatoes but would have nowhere to sell the potatoes.
Clearing out the Weeds
Sometimes the fees make products two or three times more expensive than they otherwise would be, despite the people in the country having far less money. Imports and distribution centers are often controlled by a handful of well connected families who keep prices high in order to line their own pockets, which results in higher prices for the end user. The rest of the high prices come from bribes and high credit charges.
The shortage of credit forces small farmers to sell low rather than wait for the best seasonal prices. One large survey for the World Bank found that only 1% of Nigerian farmers borrowed to buy fertilizer.
Some African countries faced average tariffs of 8.7%, compared with 2.5% for those that exported goods beyond Africa.
Africa’s cities are swelling, and the people who live in them crave meat and processed food. That is a huge opportunity for local farmers. Yet, it costs three times as much to move goods one mile along an African road as it does to move them along an Asian one—and that is before the police shake you down. As a result, fertilizer is expensive and up to a fifth of the surpluses is wasted on the way to market. There should also be an assault on the trucking cartels that keep prices high.
No longer can Africa remain subject to the limitations of manual labor and subsistence farming. It is only through appropriate mechanization that African farmers will be able to feed not only themselves but also the continent’s burgeoning urban population.
The experience of Western Europe speaks for itself whenever we observe the historical transformation that had occurred from the earlier part of the nineteenth century from subsistence to mechanized methods of farming. The benefit of aggregating agricultural yields ensures that a starving population can get fed and once that unfolds the people will have the ability to industrialize.
In countries such as India, China, Brazil and Turkey, the rapid expansion in farm machinery demand has stimulated productivity. Chinese farmers harvest more than three times as much grain per hectare.
Compact utility tractors are being sold to farmers on a full-cost recovery basis with a 50 percent down payment and term payments, with interest, over three years. To take advantage of the scheme, farmers have to convince Coop Eau Vivante that they have the necessary land and business skills.
African’s Agricultural Plight
African’s agricultural plight is more as a result of the society than of nature and technology. Poor economic/political/legal institutions in Africa means that many African politicians can hardly understand the rule of the game in which they’re playing: corruption and instability means they can’t build such institutions to a decent standard.
Unfortunately, there have been mass land sales and jatropha biodiesel plantations, that are financed by western and other predatory global banks, that actually provide little to locals apart from lackey governments who willingly throw village people off their land for investors to take advantage and govt officials to make their lick on it.
British firms (11) have acquired more land in Africa (1.61 million hectares) for controversial bio-fuel plantations than companies from any other country. World wide there are 100 projects and 50 companies in more than 20 countries by the number of companies: Germany (7), France (6), USA (4), Canada (4), Scandinavian Countries (4), Belgium (3), Switzerland (3), Netherlands (2) and even Cyprus(1). Would someone please tell me how this approach will assist in the general African famine problem?
Strangely Africa produced more under colonialism’s yoke, simply because it was better run e.g., Somalia under Italy in the south of Somalia: it had huge fruit growing production. When the UK ran Zimbabwe it was one of the largest wheat producers on the continent.
Before the mechanization opportunities can be fully exploited, a number of issues need to be addressed, such as:
- Many African countries have long traditions of communal land management and a complicated web of customary farming rights. It is very important to register farmers’ entitlements so their land cannot be pinched. Long term leases (25 to 50 years) should be legally enforceable.
African farmers often have few or no rights over the land they work. Insecure farmers tend not to invest much, either because they do not see the point or because they cannot get credit. These problems can be particularly bad for women. One study in Ghana found that women farmers were less likely to let their land lie fallow (a simple way of increasing its fertility). They seem to have feared losing it if they did not plant it continuously.
Proper titles would encourage farmers to make long-term investments, like tree-planting, and allow them to use land as collateral for loans.
- Training is necessary and paramount, not only for farming skills but also for management of farm machinery and other technologies, finance, forward planning, marketing, etc. Farmers need regularly updated processes of lifelong learning, as exemplified by Farmer Field Schools.
- Farmers must have local access to the inputs they need, including seeds and fertilizers, electricity and water as well as machinery and the supporting infrastructure that mechanization requires (e.g. repair services, parts supply, fuel and lubricants). Living Water Micro Finance Inc. has a vital role to play in this respect in partnership with farmer organizations.
Agriculture is essential for firing economic growth across the African continent. More people still live in the countryside than in cities and many of Africa’s cities are not all that dynamic. There is certainly space for more food-processing factories in Africa—so, for example, it could export cocoa powder instead of cocoa beans.
Nigeria’s agricultural policy is based on two principles: the government cannot displace the private sector; and farming should be treated as a business from seeds to storage. The state has given up supplying seeds and fertilizer directly to farmers, as this breeds corruption. As little as 11% of subsidized fertilizer was actually getting to small farmers at the subsidized price. Farmers now get credits on their mobile telephones that can be used to buy inputs from private suppliers.
Well-intention attempts to entitle farmers have sometimes made things worse for women: as customary rights are replaced with legal ones, men tend to assert control. Still, things are improving in a few countries. In Ethiopia, where land is formally owned by the state, farmers’ rights to cultivate it and rent it out have been clarified. That reform, combined with a change to family law, seems to have increased women’s control. The Rwandan government has changed inheritance law to give women more rights.
Government may have a role in facilitating trade relationships with new suppliers of technology or equipment. Government may need to make the first moves, such as importing the first consignment of agricultural machines and trucks in partnership with the private enterprise like Living Water Micro Finance Inc., and thereafter allowing it to take over.
Once the chosen institutions, like Living Water Micro Finance Inc., increase agricultural productivity and rural prosperity should be radiated first within the core of the country and then throughout the region.
The rest of world (ROW) needs to “help pay its fair share”? A lot of countries with brilliant running projects that are profitable need to assist the emerging farmers in Africa in terms of skills sharing.
Here is how we can begin our Revolution:
If agricultural equipment is sent to an African country, like Ivory Coast, it has a value of $200,000 if it was brand new. The nearly new equipment has a real value of $100,000 hypothetically. The agricultural equipment dealer or farmer working with the dealer receives a tax refund benefit at the rate of the last $1000 owed to the government; say 30% of 100,000 or $30,000 from Living Water Micro Finance Inc., a non-profit company.
The new owner, Living Water Micro Finance Inc., will sell the equipment in question in Africa and will feel indebted to the previous owner, the equipment dealer or the farmer. This indebtedness will be 50% of the net selling price. This indebtedness will be resolved in our hypothetical example, by the purchase of additional new equipment from the dealer.
If a farmer were to donate his or her used equipment there would be a large tax refund receipt and a cash credit from a third party, Coop Eau Vivante in Africa to a dealer of his or her choice or some other similar arrangement.
More important there will be a real contribution to poverty and famine in an underdeveloped country. We are talking about increased needed efficiency in the agricultural field, which will lead to more employment as well.
Since the need for this equipment is so high, the equipment will enter duty free and since this equipment will be sent to Africa, copies of bill of lading will be made available to the dealer or farmer. We are presently interested in exporting to Cote d’Ivoire.
Without specialized knowledge of agricultural machinery any donation schemes usually end up with disastrous consequences: we have the skills. We also offer a service to farmers including the provision of spare parts and repair services.
The Women Farmers are the biggest winners with Living Water Micro Finance Inc., because they are working on low rent land in a form of team farming, which can reap higher economies of scale and are supported by micro finance.
The High Supply of Used Machinery
The high demand for new equipment since 2008 has left many dealers carrying a large stock of late model, low hour, four-wheel drive tractors and combines all across Canada and the U.S. according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Farm Credit Canada is projecting new farm equipment sales will start strengthening towards the end of 2016 and into 2017: cash receipts for various agriculture sectors are looking stronger.
The large inventory of used equipment sitting on dealer lots is not only decreasing the ability of the dealers to purchase and finance new equipment, but is also lowering the value of the trade-ins farmers tend to use when buying new equipment.
They are not going to sell much new if they can’t move the used. Over 95 per cent of new equipment sales involve a trade in, and there is a lot of good quality, fairly new, low hour four-wheel drives and combines out there, especially in Western Canada.
There is a Second Stage
One way to face risks in agriculture is to encourage irrigation, especially water-hoarding drip-irrigation.
We provide irrigation and electricity in remote areas without the use of dams to African landlords who cooperate with us.
We provide the shipping and sale of used equipment in Africa. You promote the contacts who can provide donations of equipment and trucks and share in the profit as an Associate Partner. A third party will provide the quality assurance of the used product.
Agroforestry could help solve Climate Change.
AFRICAN MIDDLE CLASS A country cannot grow with only a rich class and a poor class! It is acknowledged that many living on US$2 to US$4 a day could easily slip back into poverty.
NEXT6 Our Living Water Investment Plan is where African entrepreneurs can share a customized business plan with us. The Investor receives a huge social benefit of helping to support small projects.
HELPING SOLVE THE WORLD’S CARBON POLLUTION
New Trees are the only solution to soaking up Carbon Dioxide:
Our Mission: to help solve the problem of carbon dioxide build up in the world by growing and managing mature forests of foliage, fruit and nut trees that eventually are used in lumber — not firewood. The Carbon Tax Fund supports a Micro finance initiative to support women farmers and their families who will nurture fruit and nut trees over their lifetime. The Net Present Value of each tree is $0.49/tree plus $1.00/tree for auditing and maintenance for 25 years.
A Full Scale Aquaponic Tree Nursery in Africa supported by:
6. God’s Loveletters: Godloveletters.com
7. Thunder of Justice: ThunderOfJustice.com
8. AFRICApitalism: AfriCapitalism.us
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