Monday, September 24, 2012

Worshop in Haiti with MercyCorps

Today was another successfully workshop, this time in Haiti.
From all the workshops, I believe that this one will have a direct impact on reducing hunger, by preserving the crops that get to rot.

workshop in Haiti (part 1) buying materials with MercyCorps:



Workshop in Haiti (part 2) at work:


Workshop in Haiti (part 3) Finished:



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Workshop in Rancho Magante, Dominican Republic

I've arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I was very well received by Sergio from WVI.org.

Them I went north to Rio San Juan, to Rancho Magante, where they already has build a solar dehydrator from looking at my blog, which made me very happy.

Then we build one only with local free materials from nature:
1. PiƱon
2. Jaguar (palm tree leaves)


Video during the workshop:



Interview with Maria Mensen from Rancho Magante:




Fotos:



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Puerto Rico - Solar Dehydrator - New Model !

Today as a very successful workshop in Puerto Rico, more then 20 participants


Puerto Rico - Solar Dehydrator - NEW MODEL!



Puerto Rico - Special interview with our host Luis Soto






Interviews :

Puerto Rico - 60sec presentation of Victor Perez




Puerto Rico - 60sec presentation of Ivan Quintero



Puerto Rico - 60sec presentation of Samairis Barea



Puerto Rico - 60sec presentation of Anita Mattos









Thursday, August 23, 2012

Will Greenhouses ensure food security for BVI?




As the second sitting of the second House of Assembly convened, Deputy Premier, Dr. The Hon. Kedrick Pickering, brought to the fore an issue that has seen much talk over the past year, that of making the British Virgin Islands more food secure in terms of agricultural and greenhouses development.

Addressing Speaker of the House, Hon. Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe, Dr. Pickering noted that agriculture is one of two traditional industries of the BVI, which seems to have lost its importance to the economy with the advent of the tourism and financial services but that much talk has surfaced about its resurgence.

He added that greenhouse technology may yet prove worthwhile and useful; while making it clear that he is in no way condemning traditional farming practises.
“As a matter of fact, I would like to publicly commend those farmers who are still using the traditional means of farming and to let them know that they have nothing to fear. Our traditional farmers will continue to play a critical role in food production in this Territory,” the Deputy Premier assured.

He revealed that at the beginning of the New Year, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour will be moving forward with the development of the agriculture industry through the development of the green houses.

“This development also creates a total of 20-24 jobs that will be needed to run the greenhouses on Paraquita Bay. This is another benefit that encourages me to move forward with this development from concept to reality.”

He stated that greenhouse technology will afford the BVI the opportunity to increase food production without requiring additional land space.

“As I have always said, Madam Speaker, if they can grow food in the desert in Israel, why can’t we use the same technology and grow food here? Statistics reveal that over 90% of the food consumed in the British Virgin Islands is imported. The development of the Greenhouses in the territory is very important if we are to move towards some measure of food security for this Territory.”

 Acknowledging the many issues have been raised with regards to the consumption of greenhouse produced foods, Hon. Dr. Pickering stated that the fact still remains that the BVI imports foods from a number of different countries that utilize this technology.
He pointed out that the territory has no control over the quality of the produce it imports; however, if the territory implements its own greenhouses, local technical people will have direct control over what is produced.

“This direct oversight assures a better quality as well as a reduction in the import bill through a reduction in the quantity of food imported,” Hon. Dr. Pickering insisted.

“Many remember the days, from the 1950s to the 1970s, when the Territory supplied the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands with food, especially ground provision. Those were the days when the population was approximately ten thousand, but with a population of about thirty thousand the demand for food has increased exponentially and the BVI need to begin to seriously address this issue,” he added.

In addition to the increase in population, there are issues like adverse weather conditions which have brought on protracted periods of droughts and extremely heavy rain falls.

These conditions make it difficult to cultivate and the greenhouses will provide a situation where the conditions can and will be controlled, thus ensuring year round production.

Reinforcing his point, Hon. Dr. Pickering added that the United Nations has estimated that the world food production will have to increase by seventy percent by 2050 in order to meet the need of an exploding population that is expected to reach about 9 billion. This extra production, according to the UN, will have to largely come from existing land.

BVI spent over $3M On Greenhouses





Measures will be put in place to avoid the greenhouses at Paraquita Bay being damaged during the hurricane season, according to Natural Resources and Labour Minister, Hon. Omar Hodge.

"It can stand up to 80 miles wind and if you listen to the news, you will realize that it will get stronger than that...We will just take the sides down and let the wind blow through and we will always have spares on hand in case anything is damaged, so we can fix it up and move again."

He said, "You know throughout the world where we have these greenhouses, there are tornados and hurricanes so we have to be prepared."

The Minister was at the time responding to a question during the VIP's radio programme earlier this week on whether the greenhouses will be able to withstand the force of hurricanes.

Meanwhile, during yesterday´s sitting of the House of Assembly, Minister Hodge said Government is presently costing some support services required for the greenhouses, noting that once those costs are received by his Ministry, he will be in a better position to advise the Honourable members.

He was responding to questions posed by Opposition Leader, Dr. Orlando Smith on what is now the projected cost of the infrastructural development of the Greenhouse Project.

The Minister, who could not say what would be the annual projected cost of running the project, said the total sum expended to date on the project is $3,109,458.44. "Mr. Speaker, the cost is yet to be determined."

Furthermore, responding to the question on the timeline for the project to break-even, Hon. Hodge said, "This information is unknown at this time. My focus at this time Mr. Speaker, is to ensure that this Territory has quality food for its people."

Madam Speaker, I would like to now turn my attention to the issue of agricultural development. Agriculture is one of two (Fishing being the other one) traditional industries of the BVI that seem to have lost its importance to our economy with the advent of tourism and financial services.

There has been much talk about the resurgence of this industry. The greenhouse technology may yet prove worthwhile and useful. Madam Speaker, according to the United Nations estimates, the world food production will have to increase by seventy percent (70%) by 2050 in order to meet the need of an exploding population that is expected to reach about 9 billion. This extra production, according to the UN, will have to largely come from existing land.

The greenhouse technology allows us to increase our food production without requiring additional land space. As I have always said Madam Speaker, if they can grow food in the desert in Israel, why can’t we use the same technology and grow food here? Statistics reveal that over 90% of the food consumed in the British Virgin Islands is imported. The development of the Greenhouses in the territory is very important if we are to move towards some measure of food security for this Territory.

Madam Speaker, I know that there have been issues raised in regards to the consumption of food produced in greenhouses, but the fact is that we import foods from a number of different countries that use this technology. I would also like to add here that we have no control over the quality of the produce we are buying from overseas; however in this situation, our technical people will have direct control over what is produced. This direct oversight assures a better quality as well as a reduction in the import bill through a reduction in the quantity of food imported.

Many of us remember the days, from the 1950s to the 1970s, when this Territory supplied the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands with food, especially ground provision. Those were the days when our population was approximately ten thousand (10,000); with a population of about thirty thousand (30,000) the demand for food has increased exponentially and we need to begin to seriously address this issue.

In addition to the increase in population, we have had to deal with issues like adverse weather conditions which have brought on protracted periods of droughts and extremely heavy rain falls. These conditions n extreme ends of the spectrum make it difficult to cultivate. The greenhouses will provide a situation where the conditions can and will be controlled thus ensuring year round production.

Madam Speaker, let me be abundantly clear that I am in no way condemning traditional farming. As a matter of fact, I would like to publically commend those farmers who are still using the traditional means of farming and to let them know that they have nothing to fear. Our traditional farmers will continue to play a critical role in food production in this Territory. At the beginning of the New Year my Ministry intends to move forward with the development of this industry through the development of the green houses. This development also creates a total of 20-24 jobs that will be needed to run the greenhouses on Paraquita Bay.

This is another benefit that encourages me to move forward with this development from concept to reality.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Antigua and Barbuda Solar Dehydrator workshop

Hi,

In Antigua I had a good help with Andrew Robinson, the organic farmer, to setup a workshop in Woodstock Boat Builder shop.

Here's some interviews and pictures of it.

60sec Pandora's presentation at Solar Dehydrator workshop:





60sec Gilly's presentation at Solar Dehydrator workshop:





60sec Gary's presentation at Solar Dehydrator workshop:









Music at Mango Festival in Antigua