Tag Archives: tall trees

THE CARBON GENIE 2

Global Change and Politics

It’s hard to get the general public to grasp the vast size of our carbon problem, that we will not only have to stop emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere BUT ALSO find a way to pull vast amounts of CO2 already in the atmosphere and put the carbon genie back in the bottle.

Pick a reason for forgetting about our grandchildren who will all be living in a new world of Global Change: Ignorance; Greed; Denial; Tribalism (following the group thinking); Short-term Thinking.

Carbon GenieAt least half of our wise leaders don’t even see our carbon emissions as a serious problem. Very few leaders will support any change because no-one in power wants what would disrupt the cosy status quo.

Here are the facts: the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that a massive amount of CO2 removal will be required this century — at least 500 billion metric tons pulled back out of the air — if we are to avoid the worst of global warming. 

There is no current magical technology to absorb all the harmful CO2 in our atmosphere. But there’s worse news. There are almost no business cases for carbon removal right now. In other words, it still costs nothing to spew CO2 into the sky, so people have no financial incentive to stop dumping, let alone pay to clean up the air.  At the very least that we can do now is to require a price to be put on CO2, making it more expensive to emit.

 

Nature is our untapped solution. Tropical forests are incredibly effective at storing carbon – providing up to 30% of the solution towards climate change. Despite this, nature-based solutions only receive 2% of all funding devoted to climate solutions.

Carbon Genie

What we need is a Marshall-style construction programs, and an acknowledgment that we have to escape failed paradigms. 

We don’t have the luxury of a lot of time: the best science says we have less than 10 years to reduce carbon emissions by at least 90% if we expect civilization to deal with the possibility of extreme global warming. 

Carbon Genie

The irony is that it will take far more funds to recover from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, if we decide to wait to act. The cost and consequences of inaction are too high to risk.

Hopefully, it will not take a climate catastrophe to motivate such action, such as the drowning of some coastal city like New Orleans.

What are we to do?

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Unstable Weather 2

Phenomena of Unstable Weather

HEAT WAVES

The deadly weather phenomena, heat wave, is a long period of hot unstable weather. Heat waves have increased in frequency and duration in recent years and will continue to do so.

Unstable Weather

Carbon Tax is not Enough!

Carbon should not flow unpriced into the atmosphere, any more than you should be allowed to toss your garbage in the street. A rising carbon tax would discourage carbon emissions in every single economic transaction, every day of the year. 

Once one major country or region adopts carbon dividends with border carbon adjustments, other countries are compelled to follow suit [to prevent paying border adjustments to countries with carbon taxes]. One by one the dominoes fall.

Since every action of a modern life involves using fossil fuel, the only way to get enough change is to send a price signal through the matrix, so that everyone from investors to car buyers to milk-drinkers will find their behavior changing automatically. Carbon pricing is also one of the tools clean tech entrepreneurs cite as key to supporting innovation.

Carbon pricing plans now cover about 12 percent of the world’s emissions — have been far from earth-shaking.  At best, a carbon tax is one arrow in a quiver full of other arrows we’re going to need to let loose in a volley.

Unstable Weather

Bill McKibben’s “Step It Up!” campaign to stop global warming.

Step It Up, a nationwide campaign to combat global warming, drew thousands of Americans concerned about climate change. Holding 1,400 events around the nation, participants in National Day of Climate Action got creative. In lower Manhattan, protesters formed a line at the place where rising sea levels are predicted to reach. But that was ten years ago. Where is this model now?

Unstable Weather

If there is a model within American memory of what must be done, it is the civil rights revolution of the 1960s.

 Will FORESTATION occur rapidly enough to avert the worst effects of a warming world? 

Unstable Weather

The 2020 gap is, according to a recent United Nations Environment Program report, the difference between global emission levels consistent with the 2°C and emission expected if country commitments are implemented. “Global emissions should not be higher than 44 Gt CO2. However the range of expected global emissions (median estimates) from the pledge cases is 52 – 54 Gt CO2 in 2020. The gap in 2020 is therefore 8 – 10 Gt CO2.”  This gap can be CLOSED by FORESTATION.

Unstable Climate

Tropical forests are incredibly effective at storing carbon – providing up to 30% of the solution towards climate change. It has been estimated that 8 – 10 Gt CO2 could be stored in tropical plantations.

Despite this, nature-based solutions only receive 2% of all funding devoted to climate solutions.

Politicians are completely overwhelmed by the sheer complexity, size and number of crises in the world at present. Politicians should not be lurching from crisis to crisis like a drunk. They lack the leadership that Winston Churchill brought to the Second World War.

Unstable Weather

The Copenhagen Accord commits developed countries to the goal of sending $100 billion per year to developing countries in assistance for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation through 2020. If ten per cent of this went to African farmers this would be around a micro finance support of $800 per farming household per year, which could provide a powerful incentive to change.

There was also a collective commitment by developed countries for $30 billion in “new and additional” resources in 2010-2012 to help developing countries reduce emissions, preserve forests, and adapt to climate change; and a goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in public and private finance by 2020 to address developing county needs.

Aside from saving the planet, Are Tropical Nurseries a Good Investment?

YES!

Continue reading Unstable Weather 2

Reforesting the Tropics 2

Saving Humanity: Reforest the Tropics

Buying Time to develop alternative technologiesReforesting the Tropics

Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefore, reforesting the tropics will act as carbon sinks, alleviating the greenhouse effect. There are millions of acres of tropical pastures available. When given proper care, orchard tropical trees bear fruit up to 50 years or more.

Reforesting the TropicsPLANT MORE TREES around the world — because… trees are carbon storage (sequestration) experts.

The United States has cut down over 50% of its original forests in the last 400 years, which would have absorbed 50% of its carbon emissions. Once carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere it stays there for a long time. About 33% continues to cause damage after 100 years.

 It is estimated by the U.S. Forest Service that all the forests in the United States, combined, sequestered approximately 309 million tons of carbon each year from 1952 – 1992, offsetting approximately 25 percent of human-caused emissions of carbon during that period in the United States.

The world’s forests remove over one quarter (27%) of current annual human carbon emissions from the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of about 2.4 billion tons of carbon according to the latest published scientific research.

Reforesting the TropicsThe tropical zones of the world seem particularly attractive for forestation because of the high rates of productivity that can potentially be attained there, and because there appear to be large areas of land that would benefit from tree planting.

Reforesting the Tropics

TREE MATH

Young trees absorb CO2 at a rate of 13 pounds per tree each year. Trees reach their most productive stage of carbon storage at about 10 years at which point they are estimated to absorb 48 pounds of CO2 per year and one acre of trees absorbs 2.6 tons of CO2 every year.

 For every ton of new-wood growth, about 1.5 tons of CO2 are removed from the air and 1.07 tons of life-giving oxygen is produced.

POSITIVE GROWTH OF TREES IN THE TROPICS

Borial zone trees absorb 0.5 Pg C/yr compared to Temperate zone trees at 0.7 while tropical trees grow at the rate of 1.3 or 185% more efficiently year-round than trees in a temperate zone

Younger and faster growing orchards generally have higher annual sequestration rates and they are given higher personal care of proper fertilizer and water: add a further 25% increase. We conclude there is an additional (185% + 25%) or 210% increase in the value of CO2 absorption.

Reforesting the TropicsThis map shows solar-induced fluorescence, a plant process that occurs during photosynthesis, from Aug. through Oct. 2014 as measured by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. This period is springtime in the Southern Hemisphere and fall in the Northern Hemisphere. Photosynthesis is highest over the tropical forests of the Southern Hemisphere but still occurs in much of the U.S. Grain Belt. The northern forests have shut down for the winter.

 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia), CSIRO forests researcher Dr Canadell estimate that tropical forest re-growth is removing an average of 1.6 billion tons of carbon per year. Combining the uptake by established and forest re-growth plus emissions from deforestation, the world’s forests have a net effect on atmospheric CO2 equivalent to the removal of 1.1 billion tons of carbon every year. Reforesting the TropicsReforesting the Tropics

In terms of cutting emissions a 53% reduction in 2010 emissions is equal to almost 20 Gt of CO2 emissions. For some perspective, global emissions from coal fired electricity generation were about 9 Gt CO2 in 2010.

Reforesting the TropicsThe larger predictions from climate models are due to the fact that, within these models, the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever CO2 does. This is referred to as a positive feedback. It means that increases in surface temperature are accompanied by reductions in the net outgoing radiation – thus enhancing the greenhouse warming. … Satellite observations of the earth’s radiation budget verify this fact.

VALUE OF TROPICAL TREES

Moisture created by the rain forests travel around the world. America’s Midwest is affected by the forests in the Congo which is roughly a distance of 6000 miles. Moisture from the Amazon falls as far away as Texas.

The Benefits of Tropical Trees:

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SUSTAINABLE BIOCHAR AND GLOBAL WARMING 2

SUSTAINABLE BIOCHARBIOCHAR SOLUTIONS

Sustainable biochar is a powerfully simple tool to fight global warming. This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and discourage deforestation. Sustainable biochar is one of the few technologies that are relatively inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable.

Farmers in Brazil have long known about the “black earth,” or terra preta, found over vast areas of the Amazon. In the last decade or two archaeologists have begun to realise that the terra preta was not a naturally occurring phenomenon, but had been cultivated over centuries, if not millennia.  They turned some of the wood into charcoal and then worked it back into the soil, creating an unusually rich and fertile ground.

Traditionally, people have used biochar and ash in their fields. This practice exists all over the world. There is a need to recognize the value and create awareness on biochar. Farmers know that wherever biomass is burnt in the field’s crop grows stronger, healthier and better.

 In East Africa, sugarcane and maize waste is normally burned in the field, as it has no other value. In-field burning returns approximately 2-5% of the original carbon to the soil and a negligible amount of NPK.  It does little to improve soil, and is considered a major source of particulate and soot emissions in the region.

Burning without oxygen can also mean burning without smoke, which leads to the idea of replacing home heating and cooking stoves with pyrolizing kilns that provide the same functions but are clean-burning, inexpensive and easy to use, and instead of generating smoke and ash.

Biochar is essentially charcoal, but burnt at a lower temperature and with a more restricted flow of oxygen; it has the potential to end the slash-and-burn cycle in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to researcher Bruno Glaser at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, a hectare of meter-deep terra preta can hold 250 tons of carbon, as opposed to 100 tons of carbon in unimproved soils. 

THAT MEANS THAT THERE IS A POTENTIAL  OF 150 TONS OF CARBON CAPTURE/ HA POSSIBLE. (THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FORESTATION ON THE SAME HECTARE)

In addition, the bio-char itself increases soil fertility, which allows farmers to grow more plants, which allows more bio-char to be added to the soil. Johannes Lehman, author of Amazonian Dark Earths, claims that combining bio-char and bio-fuels could draw down 9.5 billion tons per year, or 35 Gt CO2 per year equal to all our current fossil fuel emissions.

Biochar Trenches

This is the simplest and convenient method for farmers to convert the crop residue / biomass in the farm lands into biochar trenches. All the biochar, burnt soil remains within the field could be conveniently spread by the farmer within the whole field.

It is more convenient to make such trenches after ploughing the field. Trenches perpendicular to the slopes also benefit the steep sloppy areas as water harvesting means. The entire crop residue otherwise burnt openly can be collected and dumped into these trenches lengthwise. More biomass can be added during the process. Once the trench is filled with biomass and compact, it should be covered by grass, weeds, broad leaves, etc. After covering it up, soil should be spread on the trench, a lengthy mound is created. Some water could be used to make the soil compact and for sealing the mound of biomass. A small hole is left open for lighting the biomass at one end and at the other end a very small opening is left open. Once it is lit, white smoke starts emitting at the other end. The result is a smoking mound over the trenches.  

When it smokes too much or when it cracks, too much oxygen is getting in. You must plastered more mud and earth over that part until the leak was stopped. You must keep an eye on the smoke, in order to stop the burn when it changed color. You can stop it by covering it with more earth to entirely cut off the oxygen.biochar-soil-management8

The trenches are 2 to 3 feet depth and 1.5 to 2 feet width. Small holes are to be made in a biochar along the length of the trench at every 10 to 15 feet in a biochar trench. After 24 hours the biomass is converted into biochar. Any little smoke or embers should be quenched with water or covered with soil while removing the biochar from the trench.

The alternative is to burn the biomass openly, which causes pollution and very little carbon is formed.

Over the three year study period, t was observed that the chances of seeds germination are 20% to 30% higher in the soils with biochar compared to control soils. All soil properties except pH showed significant changes. In both biochar amended and control soils, salt, manganese, and potash content showed consistent increases while phosphate content decreased.  Additional phosphate fertilizer may be needed. Organic phosphorus fertilizers come primarily from mineral sources, like rock dust or from bone sources such as steamed bone meal or fish bone meal.

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Cacao plants planted into soil rich in biochar started producing fruits half the normal time. Plants seem to be supported for longer and there is less yellowing of leaves. 

BIOCHAR COMPOSTdegraded-land24

Continue reading SUSTAINABLE BIOCHAR AND GLOBAL WARMING 2

MECHANIZATION REVOLUTION 2

Here is how we begin our MECHANIZATION REVOLUTION:

 An African Revolution: if agricultural mechanization 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 MicroFinance Inc., a non-profit company.

Mechanization in Africa

The new owner, Living Water MicroFinance 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.

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YOU CAN HELP by being our Partner:

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THE CONCEPTUAL AGE 2

The Conceptual Age has come.

The world as you know it is changing. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind. We are moving from an economy built on logical capabilities of the Information Age to an economy built on inventive, empathic, big picture capabilities of the Conceptual Age.

In the Conceptual Age we are doing what the overseas knowledge workers can’t do cheaply, that computers can’t do faster, and that satisfies the aesthetic, emotional and spiritual needs of a more prosperous time. In this new age, we need to offer something that satisfies the non-material, transcendent desires of an abundant age?

 So what are we to do to prepare ourselves for this change? We will concentrate on several aptitudes:

  1. The appetite for design thinking to reframe experience has never been greater. We start with Design: Today’s Tall Trees

mechanizing-africa

Forests act as a carbon sink by taking carbon dioxide out of atmosphere. 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. 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.

  1. We must tell our Story to communicate with others and to build a purpose.

Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are set up to understand stories. Every society has told stories. We have a story to give away to someone else who needs it.

The basis of our work depends on agricultural mechanization. A young African will move to the city if all he can earn is $10/day. This same African will return to the land because mechanization has changed the whole picture: the farms can now be more productive.

Enter the world of Living Water MicroFinance Inc. Our company mission is to support women farmers and their families in Africa. We negotiate with landlords to make land available to these subsistence families for a long term lease over 25 years. We help produce cash crops, which include cacao and inter-cropping with yams and banana plantain. We start with a tree nursery that is supported by a Carbon Tax Fund, in which every tree that is planted and lives for 25 years has a net present value of $1.50.

  1. We must look at the Big Picture – combining all the pieces to a new whole or holistic thinking.

The ability to see the Big Picture encompasses the ability to grasp the relationships between relationships: integrating and imagining how all the pieces fit together. The person who invented the wheel may have been smart but the person who invented the other three wheels was a genius.

The Big Picture:

Stage 1     

We develop Agricultural Mechanization of Africa: The main objective of farm mechanization is increasing agricultural production. We focus primarily on the export of tractors.                          

Stage 2   Carbon Emission to be Solved

Continue reading THE CONCEPTUAL AGE 2

AFRICA MECHANIZATION 2


MISSION: AFRICA MECHANIZATION 

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 agricultural Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture.

We envision a world that solves the famine and the        drought problem by creating                        Mechanization in Africa.

A NEW PARADIGMParadigm Shift Mechanization Concept Africa

It is the time for a new look at agricultural mechanization in Africa. A paradigm shift is required:  from one of poverty alleviation to investment for economic growth, in which the focus is on sustainable economic growth.

On average, 700-1,850 tractors are used per 1,000 farmers in Europe and Northern America, exceptionally low levels of mechanization persist in many developing countries: a mere 5 tractors are in operation per 1,000 farmers in Africa. 

Mechanization Concept in Africa
Compare 5 tractors with 1,500 to 1,800 tractors per 1000 farmers

The total number of working tractors would have to be about 3.5 million (7 times more) to put Africa on a par with other regions. Agricultural would have to expand by a factor of about ten to approximately 400 000 tractors per year. Such a growth in tractor sales cannot be achieved immediately but could be in, say, 10 or 12 years. This would require urgent action to stimulate the market to attain sales of the order of 100 000 units per year within two or three years. As a comparison, tractor sales in India in 2005–06 were 264,790 units.

There has been a massive devaluation of many African currencies. This leads to very high cost of agricultural machinery which leads to reduced imports of machinery in Africa.

An illustrative quote (from FAO & UNIDO, 2008) helpfully summarizes the way forward: ‘If agricultural mechanization efforts are to succeed in Africa, there is an urgent need for all concerned, be they farmers, supporters, planners or policy makers,to understand and contribute to agricultural mechanization efforts  in Africa across the entire farming system and with a value chain perspective’.

FAO & UNIDO must know and support our project. Please send a link of this to them… Mechanization in Africa 

How can African prosperity get started?

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Mechanization in Africa

Over 60% of farm power is still provided by people’s muscles, mostly from women, the elderly and children. Afford-ability of Africa mechanization is often beyond the reach of the small holder family. You can make a difference in so many lives.

 Decades of counter-terrorism teaches that the best bulwarks against extremism are states that are prosperous and just. With your support, the middle class will band with the underclass to bring about regime changes.

You can help by expanding access to rich-world markets for African goods, particularly in agriculture and the opportunities for other African industry would also expand.

How does the world approach climate change? Unfathomable amounts of carbon emissions can be soaked up by trees? Your support will assist us in developing Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries in Africa.

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A young African will move to the city if all he can earn is $10/day. This same African will return to the land because mechanization has changed the whole picture: the farms can now be more productive. Your support will take the pressure off African urbanization, which usually ends in abject poverty or crime in the city.

Designing a Mechanization Strategy in Africa                                        

Continue reading AFRICA MECHANIZATION 2

AGROFORESTRY: DROUGHT & FAMINE PROOF 2

AGROFORESTRY & 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 Agroforestry for 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.

Agroforestry is the deliberate use of trees on the same land management unit as arable crops in a mixed spatial arrangement at the same time. Agroforestry contributes to preserve this fragile ecosystem while providing new resources for smallholder farmers

Alley cropping: Growing annual crops in spaces between rows of trees or shrubs, often leguminous ones that tolerate heavy and regular coppicing. The leafy and woody material of the trees and shrubs is used as mulch in the crops and also often as fodder and timber.

In these harsh conditions, 60 million poor people need to live and grow food. More than 50% of the West African Sahel land is degraded and not suitable for cultivation. In most cases the degraded land is composed of crusted lateritic soils impermeable to water. 

Small-scale Nurseries can receive orders for large quantities of neem,  Black Thorn (Acacia mellifera) and mesquite (Prosopis julifiora), largely for live-hedging purposes by fruit garden owners, as well as the schools.

Agroforestry Vegetables

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Continue reading AGROFORESTRY: DROUGHT & FAMINE PROOF 2

GLOBAL WARMING IS HERE! 2

GLOBAL WARMING AND 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. All this is done to fight Global Warming.

This, on current trends, will be the hottest year ever measured. The previous record was set in 2015; the one before in 2014. Fifteen of the 16 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century. Each of the past 14 months has beaten the global monthly temperature record.

According to NASA, this August was the hottest month on record. Again. That’s not the hottest August on record, or the hottest month of 2016. It means that August of 2016 was the hottest month since recording began – in 1880. That means 2016 is well underway to becoming the hottest year on record, just like the past three years. In fact, every month since October 2015 has set new monthly high-temperature records. This summer was hotter than last summer. This winter was warmer than last winter. And it doesn’t show signs of stopping.

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India has been hammered by cycles of drought and flood, as withering heat parches the soil and torches glaciers in the Himalayas. Southern and eastern Africa has been pitched into humanitarian emergencies by drought.

A short while ago, in Paris, 177 nations promised to try to ensure the world’s average temperature did not rise by more than 1.5 C above the pre-industrial level. Already it has climbed by 1.3 C – faster and further than almost anyone predicted. In one respect, the scientists were wrong. They told us to expect a climate crisis in the second half of this century. But it’s already here.

 We can expect more hurricanes, flooding, and tsunamis from weather changes and earthquakes as well as corresponding droughts.

Incidentally, if tsunamis are in the cards, what are you doing living on low lands near an ocean?

Continue reading GLOBAL WARMING IS HERE! 2

AFRICAN POVERTY TRAP 2

AFRICAN POVERTY AND 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. We do this to address the problem of African Poverty.

AFRICAN POVERTY

There are many U.N. Agencies concerned with developing countries: World Bank (grants), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) leading the fight on hunger, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)  increasing food production, United Nation Development Program (UNDP) fighting poverty, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) caring for the environment and biodiversity, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) improving children’s lives, World Food Program (WFP) fighting against global hunger.Untitled-4

The Millennium Development Goals includes eradication of poverty and hunger, the empowering of gender equality of women, sustainable development, safe drinking water, productive work for youth, addressing the landlocked problems of 15 African countries and islands, and the benefiting of new technology.

Over half of Africa’s population is deemed to live in extreme poverty. Over the last two centuries these poorest of poor have not been able to improve their lot. In fact, the gap between the richest economies and Africa had widened from one to twenty. The main reason for this increase has been technological advancement — not exploitation of the poor. The fight of terrorism is really a fight of poverty and deprivation.

The innovation gap has become one of the most important reasons for the divergence of wealth. It started with the advent of the steam engine and continued with electrification followed by massive investments in research and development.  

The poor nations of Africa faced obstacles related to climate (drought), depleted soils, food production, disease (malaria and AIDS), energy resources, over-population, inept and corrupt governments, a high debt load, denial of women’s rights and proximity to world markets (rural isolation).

African countries can break out of the poverty trap and put one foot on the first rung of the economic ladder. Some African countries avoided falling into this poverty trap because of their food production: fertilizer and proper seed selection. Many of these obstacles can be overcome with new technologies: irrigation and conservation measures.

African farmers have never experienced the Green Revolution which came about with high-yield varieties of food crops, irrigation and fertilizer. In India, wheat production climbed in 1960 from 11 million metric tons to 55 million metric tons in 1990 as a result of the Green Revolution.Untitled-5

The poverty itself causes economic stagnation: trees are cut down for firewood and soil becomes utterly destitute. These poor Africans have the lowest saving rate (10%) because they use their income merely to stay alive. They have little cash available for fertilizer, medicines or school fees and other basic needs. The minimum saving rate should be in excess of 15%.

Too little has been done to identify the specific, low-cost intervention that will make a difference in economic growth. We have been trained to deal with throwing millions of dollars at these problems, which remain after centuries of welfare. In Uganda, only 1.4% of the annual budget of $1.8 billion is devoted to water supply and sanitation, while only 4.8% was allocated to energy.

Crop yields can be sharply increased and electricity can be extended to the villages. What is required is investment for sustained economic development on a large scale. This is not a relentless drive for one magic bullet that will turn the tide. It is an integrated solution involving available land, women farmers and their families, tree nursery supported by a Carbon Tax Fund, fertilizing from the fish rabbit farm, and irrigation and electricity from the HUG Energy System.0000Today's-Tall-Tree2


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 will take place near a water source and beside a school with added agricultural training and monitored by village field officers. The first stage is the Living Water MicroFinance Inc. support for women farmers, which is not a welfare handout, but a rotating system of micro loans, which is payable at the end of a harvest.  The second phase is the introduction of a tree nursery, which is supported by the Carbon Tax Fund. Continue reading AFRICAN POVERTY TRAP 2