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Ecofriendly farming system

Our vision is to ensure healthy eating and steady supply of food to families which is environmental friendly.

Photo of Chukwujindu Kingsley
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Ceox Integrated services

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Organisation that are collaborating with me are Feedweel mobile restaurant Greenfields Fecundo Chumee global farms Ltd

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Atani, Anambra State

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Nigeria

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

South Eastern Nigeria is comprises of five states, Anambra, Abia, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu state with land area of about 41,440Km2.

What country is your selected Place located in?

Nigeria

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

South Eastern state of Nigeria is one of the smallest region in Nigeria in terms of land mass. They are much dependent on import of most agricultural produces from other region because of their small land mass and arable soil. This region does not sufficiently produce what they eat because of small arable land, population growth not marching with the land available, rural urban migration. These reasons and others seems to makes farming and food production not be commercially viable without innovation invoke. These region is known in the world in terms of trade and commerce, so much individuals only focus on trading but food production and farming are in decline. Most of their food are imported from Northern Nigeria, therefore making the cost of the food to be higher, the quality of the food especially vegetables reduces due to long distance travel, and wrong packaging and handle which makes the food hygiene and unhealthy for consumption. This region is my birth place and I was raised and school in the region, and all my business is centered much on the region. This region has large population and needed to grow her own steady food supply chain so as to make food much affordable and healthy and as well have in control of its environment and create jobs for youth and women in the region.

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.

South Eastern Nigeria comprises of five states Anambra, Abia, Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi which is predominantly Igbo speaking states with combine total population of about 40 million people. Igbo is cultural and common linguistic of the region. The region has diversified cultures but unity in one culture and traditions and with each community with their individual king that rural them. They are know for the rich culture of Igwa Ngwa (traditional marriage celebration), ima akwa (tying of wrapper) and ndi nze Na Ozo (chieftains with red cap). They are predominantly Christians and traditionalist called Ndi Olenala which they all believe in Almighty God as supreme being. They are well known in the world as traders and travellers which has much impact on the behaviors and believe. They are located in the eastern part of Nigeria border to the River Niger in west, Niger Delta region in the south, North Central region in the North and also a subtropical region with high rainfall to moderate sunshine. South Eastern Nigeria are know for some their good delicacies such as Ofe Aku (soup made with unprocessed palm oil), ofe nsala (soup made with assorted type of meat or fish either dried or fresh), ofe ukuru (okra soup), ofe ogbolo (draw soup) Abacha (food made from cassava recipes which can be prepared with so many items especially ukwa that is oil bean). Most of their food centered on Akpu (pounded cassava), Nri ji (pounded yam), Igba oka (pounded corn), garri, rice. These food can be eaten with any of the soup mentioned earlier. The region has so many ancient cities such as Enugu, Owerri, Umuahia and commercial city of Onitsha with biggest open market in Africa, Aba; China of Nigeria, Nnewi; innovation city and many smaller cities like Nsukka, Awka, Abakiliki, Okigwe, Orlu etc. Most population of the region lives in any of these cities with Onitsha and Aba sharing much of the population leaving rural areas with very smaller population. The region is known for cultivation of rice mostly Abakiliki and Ayemelum and Ogbaru, yam, cassava and some other tree fruits like palm tree. Some of the community within the river bank are traditional fishermen and with many fish ponds. The region did not have much arable land and small land mass which makes farming not interesting to most of people. Due to unemployment and mass labour retrenchment has stated putting some people into farming but not in commercialized form do to lack of technical know how and funding. The region placed much value on what they eat and how healthy. They diets centered much on their traditional foods but lack much of the foods not being produced in the region because of cultural believes.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

41440

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

40000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Eating healthy is a growing trend that has increased the demand for organically grown foods all over the world. Fish, vegetables and herbs have great nutritional values and are important sources of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fibres that are essential components for a healthy living. Research shows that many life threatening diseases like cancer, diabetics, obesity, heart diseases and others linked to unhealthy food habits are on the increase. In the Southeastern Region, many people are becoming more conscious of the food they eat due to the rising incidences of these life threatening diseases in the Region. As a result, the population of households that need healthy vegetables, herbs and fish to maintain a healthy living is on the increase. Unfortunately, growing nutritious vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, green beans and cabbage has been a challenge in the Southeastern of Nigeria due to the following conditions. Firstly, most vegetable farmers in Southeast are subsistence women farmers who culturally have limited access to farmlands and financial capacity to buy improved seeds or use better methods or techniques to improve vegetable cultivation. Secondly, Soil erosion is a major environmental problem that affects agricultural productivity in the Southeastern part of Nigeria. As soil nutrients are lost by erosion, farmers have to use inorganic fertilizers to enhance soil fertility but this method leads to water pollution, thereby endangering aquatic life. Thirdly, high rainfall and humidity in the state increases the growth of pests that affect vegetables and flowering plants, resulting in the use of pesticides that are harmful to human health. Fourthly, Population growth causes soil erosion, nutrient exhaustion and other problems which render arable land unusable for agricultural purposes. Rural-urban migration is growing, leading to scarcity of arable lands in the suburb region of the cities. A major reason for the rural-urban migration is the dual nature of the Nigerian economy. In urban areas, economic development brings about higher standards of living but, in rural areas, a subsistence economy predominates. All these conditions limit the production of organic and chemical-free vegetables in the Region. On the other hand, fish farming is gaining momentum in the Southeastern states especially among the youth. However, most fish farmers still operate small-scale farms ranging from homestead concrete ponds (25-40 metres) to small earthen ponds (0.02-0.2 hectares) with technologies that does not meet sustainability standards and environmental compliance. There are inconsistency of some of government policies regarding the importation of feeds that makes the farmers to abandon the ponds and allow the fish to die due to unavailability of feeds. Government should consider redistributing the population by integrating redistribution policies into complete economic.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Our vision is to transform these two existing food systems (vegetable farming and aquaculture) into a more sustainable, self-sustaining and resource saving food system that works through the interactions of fish, plants and bacteria with organic and chemical-free fish, vegetables, fruits and herbs as outputs. To achieve our vision, we would establish a demonstration aquaponics farm where vegetable farmers and fish farmers will be trained on how they can leverage their already food production system to build a more sustainable food system in a symbiotic environment. With little funds and the technical knowledge and management skills gained, vegetable farmers and fish ponds owners can be able to incorporate aquaponics component into their respective farms. This will boost the production of organic foods and vegetables in the Southeastern Region, thereby making them accessible and affordable.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Our vision will ensure steady supply of fresh and organic vegetables to markets and stores in the Southeastern Region. By having steady supply, the hassles of having to transport vegetables from the north at exorbitant price will be reduced. Locally producing vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, etc will generate more income for the farmers as well as the fish farm operators. Consumers and households will eat healthier foods that will enhance their health and reduce life threatening diseases that are linked to unhealthy food habits. Our vision is also capable of generating huge revenues to States in the Region in terms of income taxes and permits. It also has potential to create jobs and reduce youth unemployment in the Region.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Our vision will redefine fish and vegetable cultivation in Southeast Nigeria and ensure all year round supply of edible fish and organic vegetables in the region. The combination of aquaculture and hydroponic system where nutrient-rich water from fish ponds is utilized to grow vegetables makes our food vision system regenerative, self-sustaining and life-changing system. It is also environmental friendly and resource efficient, making it more beneficial than the traditional agriculture practices. Producing vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumber, green beans, lettuce, cabbage, watermelons etc in a greenhouse through aquaponics will eliminate the hassles of sourcing and transporting these vegetables from the north which in most cases get to southeast states when they have lost their freshness and nutritional values. Carbon emissions associated with transporting vegetables from the north will also be eliminated. It will also close the dietary gap that exist in the state due to low consumption of organic and nutritional vegetables. Environmental challenges such as soil erosion, flooding, excessive rainfall and humidity that favours the breeding of vectors and pest do not affect aquaponic farms since it can be operated in a secured and solar powered environment. Economically, our system is more efficient than the traditional farming methods in the Region. For instance, the space required to produce same quantity of tomatoes as in traditional method is ten times less in aquaponics. Productivity is also higher and pre- and post-harvest losses are minimal in aquaponics compared to traditional farming. With aquaponics, women do not need to own land before they can farm vegetables. Aquaponic farms can be set up at backyards of the house or even indoors with little spaces, enabling constant supply of fish and vegetables to carter for household needs. With the aesthetic environment and agri-tourism garden, aquaponics farm can attract tourists and fun seekers to the Southeastern Region of Nigeria, thereby generating revenue for the states in the Region. Visitors can be treated to the delicacies from the farm. By using nutrient-rich water from fish ponds, there will be less need for the use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides that pollutes the water bodies and degrade soil. The symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants will ensure the recycling of water and nutrients within the ecosystem leading to a more sustainable resource use. Our Vision is capable of contributing towards achieving a regenerative and nourishing food vision for 2050.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Facebook

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Photo of Cortney Ahern
Team

Hi Chukwujindu Kingsley  - welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community!

Thank you for submitting your vision for ecofriendly farming in Nigeria.

A few other questions and suggestions that might help to guide and strengthen your vision:
- You mentioned in the Challenges section that the first challenge had to do with gender and female farmers not having access to financial capacity. How would your aquaculture and hydroponic system help to change those dynamics in the future?
- For the section on your Vision - what will the food system look like in 2050? Especially if you achieve your solution of implementing hydronic/aquaponic systems, how will that impact the future trajectory of the food system? Tell us the story of how you imagine the future!

I also wanted to make sure that you have seen our Food Vision Prize Toolkit with a lot of information, activities, and guidelines. The Toolkit can help you refine your Vision and make it more systemic, human-centered and well informed for the future. Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit: http://bit.ly/2X4ZxQk

Look forward to seeing your Vision evolve through the deadline on January 31st.
Cortney

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