Reducing Poverty through machine learning by embracing genetic engineering system in order to be producing drought resistance crops
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Gwembe District lies Lake Kariba in the southern part dissected plateau – up north and the valley down south, Hilly Zambezi escarpments and gorges forming the Gwembe valley. It is one of the poorest districts in the country characterized by a lack of good infrastructure, inadequate education and health services, and limited employment opportunities.
The Main tribe being Tonga and speaks Tonga language. They are believed to be the first people to settle in Zambia and still practicing polygamy. Many people don’t know how to read and write due to illiteracy. The construction of hydropower station at Kariba Dam, in 1954 across the Zambezi River, displaced a lot of them. it was a great loss for their arable land to be submerged in water as the lake expanded.
The terrain is mountainous with steep slopes, characterised by fast flowing, fast drying ravines undulating/ cascading rocky terrain which results in the land being highly erosive, leaving behind gullies. Gwembe District, suffers a continuous drought phenomenon for the past 60 years, even in the years of good rainfall, belated and scanty amounts are experienced.
Agriculture remains the key priority sector in the growth and poverty reduction in Gwembe as it is the major economic activity. The Tonga people are primarily sedimentary agriculturalists whose subsistence economy is based on cultivating three cereals: bulrush’s millet, sorghum, and maize. Nshima is the staple carbohydrate of the tonga people made from pounded maize. some crop varieties which they plant are long maturing crops and usually failed to withstand the persistence drought. The harvest is usually meager. Meanwhile, cotton is grown mainly as a cash crop.
Tongas keep domestic animals such as cattle for farm use and milk, while goats are for both meat and milk and chickens for meat to. Milk is very nutritious such that never wasted, so even when it goes sour, it is still consumed by mixing it with nshima and sugar to form a meal called ‘mabisi‘. The Tongas makes a fermented mixture of maize meal and roots called chibwantu (beverage). Vwipwa a mixture of maize meal and Busika, (Tamarind) which has a sour type of taste and taste very good when sugar is added. The leaves of pumpkins and mushrooms, Seeds of cucumber, okra, termites, meat, and fish are seasoned. Animals are headed by the boys and elder men, while in the farming fields, activities are done by women to do .
Gwembe being along the shores of the lake Kariba, creates another economical value as it provides income(fishing) to the local people as well as good nutrients from the fish for consumption.
The hopes of the people in the district are to have a continuous sustainable cheaper affordable methods of farming that can stand the persistent drought in the district. That is to come up with new drought resistance crops.
Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. A good diet can help our bodies reach and maintain a healthy living that can enable us do things healthily. What is central to our health is what we eat .The food we eat gives our bodies the information and materials they need to function properly.
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
The Zambezi valley, of which Gwembe forms a part, suffers a continuous drought phenomenon, even in the years of good rainfall, belated and scanty amounts are experienced. The terrain is mountainous with steep slopes, characterized by fast-flowing, fast-drying ravines undulating/ cascading rocky terrain which results in the land being highly erosive, leaving behind gullies. The rainfall pattern is fragmented and normally with prolonged dry spells.
Nshima is the staple carbohydrate foods (maize, Sorghum and millet) of the Tonga people, pounded from maize. Maize is a long maturing crop and usually fails in drought that results in poor harvest or nothing at all. The consequence is food crisis which causes malnutrition compromising the health of the people. Groundnuts, beans, watermelon, sweet potatoes are captivated to provide extra nutritional value needed for consumption. Cereal crops such as millet and sorghum are grown but to a very smaller extent. Mushroom can only be found during the rainy season. Grazing areas are difficult to find during drought resulting in poor health to both humans and animals
Poor or no infrastructure, (banks), poor road networks, inadequate education and health services, lack of employment opportunities. The poverty levels are high, result into high migration of people to urban areas in pursuance of employment. Lack of income per capita to buying food. Cost in the distribution of food leading to higher prices of food in the rural district. Fishing but few of them are doing it. HIV/AIDS has emerged as a serious constraint to the development of the agricultural sector in the district.
Information is power and a well-informed society is a catalyst for socio-economic development, but this is not the case for Gwembe district in the Southern Province. The District is still facing a lot of challenges in terms of technology. That is no access to information, no electricity in most parts of the districts, poor road network, devoid of television satellite towers. Roads are usually impassable during the rainy season.
Though well-articulated policies on agriculture, education, health, human rights, are there, and with strategies which emphasize objectives such as attainment of food security, maximizing farmers’ incomes, promoting sustainable agriculture, are just there on paper. women and youths are always excluded in the formulation of the policies. Demand for land expansion due to population growth is on the increase. Increase in electricity tariffs and agricultural implement becomes more problematic for people to purchase the input. Lack of good governance to emphasize the maximization of agriculture production. Late distribution of farm implements. Political instability characterized by biasness. Lack of information due to none availability of the system to provide information for the district.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
For the environment to be stable in its output there is need for strong policies to implement environmental conservation such as plant more tree to reduce erosion , planting of early maturing crops and which are drought resistant. Climate change has been associate to human activities such as cutting down of trees as a source of energy. Therefor there is need to find cheaper source of energy. This is to be done through introduction of biogas and solar system. Planting more trees that have food value like the tamarind . As a source of income to empower the community, apiculture is to be introduced.
Greater care in managing natural resources in a systematic way for sustainability and productivity by use of new technologies
Cultural food such as tamarind to be grown in large quantities for export and even starting processing the vwipwa so tha it can be on the market as a new product. not only that tamarind recently was discovered that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Introduction of new maize crop that are resistant drought resistance and which are not prone to pests. More has to be done in the research and development of new sorghum and millet crop unlike the current ones. Vegetables and legumes have to be grown in every household to ensure well balance diet to curb malnutrition
The poverty levels can only be reduced if such solutions like developing drought resistance crops, practical new ways of environment management are implemented . Lack of income per capita to buying food has to be enhanced through empowering people to be engaged in growing of other food staff like mushroom and fishing . Fishing but few of them are doing it. Increasing dairy so that there is more milk in the district. Encouraging more people to be producing milk. More of dairy cows to be brought to increase production. this creates more jobs in the district.
Establishing Information center or system so that the community can have access to Data regarding climate change and crop management. even other issue related to thier health
To enforce policies which promote sustainability and productivity in order to reduce poverty. To enhance good governance by empowering them through training. early distribution of farm implements. Liaising with the day to day working the government on the issues of health to people. to provide information by establishing information centers or systems ine district and finding best and cheaper way to disseminate it.
A practical path to sustainable development by bringing all the people on board to fight Poverty, including marginalized people like women and youths.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
Agriculture remains the key priority sector in the growth and poverty reduction
In regard to environment, we will empower the community through training in environmental management and conserving the land from degradationand pollution through planting trees such as tamarind. Introducing improved methods for soil Fertility such as organic fertilizer. The cutting down of trees for charcoal burning has to be replaced with bee keeping activities as an income venture.
For agriculture to work better, so as to improve the lives of rural folks in Gwembe, both economically and socially, financial inclusion is key. This is so because most the households lack access to funds needed to for farming. Soft loan will be given to them whereby to payback the individual has to bring back a bag of maize.building storage houses to ensure food is available all the time in the district.
Lack of income per capita to buying food has to be enhanced through empowering people to be engaged in the growing of other food staff like mushroom, fish farming, so as to contribute to quality of nutrition in the district.
Cost in the distribution of food, has led to higher prices of food in the district ( the current price of meals meal is at K200) which means many of those whose crop failed have no money to buy. consequently, they resort to eating wild fruits which are at times poisonous. Fishing but few of them are doing can also provide nutrients required by the body. This industry can bring about job creation if exploited very well, by putting policies that do not encourage catching of small fish so they can grow.
HIV/AIDS has emerged as a serious constraint to the development of the agricultural sector in the district and this can only be remedy by availability of good quality food.
Educating people on the quality of nutritious food preparation, promoting traditional, nutrient-rich crops, supporting home gardening, advising on crop processing and preservation and promoting labour-saving technologies. supporting women in running vegetable gardens that can boost the diversity of their families’ diets, while providing much-needed income.
Upholding the culture of the local, we will continue the production of vwipwa and even commercializing in the production of juices. we will embrace such activities in the fight against climate negative action, reasoning with them the impacts on the environment which later can have impact on the economic developments. Promotion of fish farming and weaving of baskets, and tourism will also be in the programs.
To achieve sustainable food security in the district in an erratic rainfall situation our primary aim is to come up with a drought resistance species of crops that will be able to withstand the persistent drought in the district. This is to be archived through by collaborating with international institutions like MIT, governments, NGOs, etc in order to produce such crops.
Greater care in managing natural resources in a systematic way for sustainability and productivity by use of new technologies
A database that will provide information to the entire district. This will be broadcasted through mobile phones, although some areas have no access to mobile communication.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and marching learning has to be introduced so that information should be available in the community. (ML) we will be able to do early detection of diseases in crops, predicting the fertility of a piece of land, and even fight deforestation and predict crop yield. then we are assured of having food for future if this is to be implemented
We will introduce cheaper methods of Drip irrigation to withhold water so that the fields can be watered if there is drought in that particular season. Therefore the introduction of artificial intelligence, machine learning and embracing the genetic engineering can be the answer to these problems of food challenges in the district. The AI and ML will be able to provide the community with the information weather in that particular season weather there are to receive enough or less rainfall.
Educating and empowering the community with such knowledge in the district will be the most valuable thing that is more impactful than any cutting-edge technology or well-intentioned food aid program. To make them understand very well the use local language demonstrating how to do it. “Hands-on”. Promoting business for women, like hair salons, cutting hair for men and charging phones. The availability of food in the district, will encourage Solar Hammermill.
When the community is healthy it means they will be more active to do other business that will bring about economic activities. Even other social amenities will be established. The poverty levels shall be reduced as many people will be engaged in other business. Companies that making seed in the district will be producing seeds. The migration of people to urban areas in pursuance of employment will be reduced.
Culture dimension has to be embraced in the sense that we have to promote dynamic thinking that all the people have be brought on board with their different ability to fight the poverty. That’s those in cattle raring, fishing, farming. such food fruits like tamarind to be grown in large quantities for export and even starting processing the vwipwa, so it can be on the market as a new product. Not only that, tamarind recently was discovered that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. We will start making juices. Increasing dairy cows so that there is more milk in the district. Encouraging more of the people to be in livestock production like goat raring. More of dairy cows to be brought in to increase production. A new way of milking which is more hygienic and safer to be introduced this will create more jobs in the district.
My emphasis is on developing policies to govern our environment how it will look like in the next 30 years, how the farming practices should actually help in rejuvenating of the land by planting trees. How sustainable are these practices in the next time ahead? Thus environmental conservation such as planting more trees to reduce erosion, planting of early maturing crops which are drought resistant.
Charcoal being a source of cheaper source of energy has to be replaced by new use of biogas and solar system. To empower the community life skills like apiculture which is user-friendly to the environment that can help in climate change that helps in pollination has to be introduced.
Deliberate policies that emphasize long term sustainable ways to manage the environment. Government, Traditional leaders, women, children, and youths have to be brought on board in the formulation process of policies regarding the environment. It is at this point in time where the local people have to be empowered with ownership to land to avoid land grabbing. In this case, land is protected to avoid unnecessary cutting down of trees. This ensures continuous productivity of food even in the years to come. Dividing land into Farm blocks. Deliberate policies where arable land should be reserved for agriculture.
To effect a good diet in every household, there is a need to have policies that embraces every household to have gardens for vegetables. This is to ensure of well-balanced meal. Liaising with the government of the day to distribute early the farm implements.
Information is power and a well-informed society is a catalyst for socio-economic development, Establishing Information center or system so that the community can have access to Data regarding climate change.
Implementing sustainable food production and enhancing agricultural productivity, farmers’ incomes and as a response to climatic Crop seed multiplication and distribution, and conservation farming,
Research into high yielding drought/pests tolerant food crops such as sorghum, cassava and sweet potatoes, Soil fertility initiatives to combat soil degradation through agro forestry and organic fertilizer
Rural seed supply through smallholder seed multiplication . Livestock development and disease control, Land and infrastructure development, Research and technological development, Development of Fisheries and aquaculture sub-sectors
n conclusion, to produce a good and nourishing diet, good policies have to be formulated to produce health livelihoods that will produce healthy environment that leads to health culture and economically sound. To sustain success there is a need to have hearts, heads and hands to end these challenges .The Focus is on tackling recurring food shortages to ensure that efforts to improve dietary practices become a standard part of food security-oriented agricultural programs. productivity