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Isolation farming

Isolation farming for prevention of underground soil transmitting diseases to save crops before they are attacked.

Photo of Anteneh Gashaw

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Anteneh Engineering

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://contest.techbriefs.com/profile?user=89682

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

  • Under 1 year

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

Addis Ababa

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Ethiopia

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

The selected place for implementation of this project is farming land in Ethiopia which covers about 4610 km² or 461000 hectare.

What country is your selected Place located in?

Ethiopia

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I am Ethiopian. I am citizen and residence of Ethiopia. Agriculture in Ethiopia is the foundation of the country's economy, accounting for half of gross domestic product (GDP), 83.9% of exports, and 80% of total employment. But for a country which depends on growing food to run the country, the industry is at its lowest efficiency. So, as a citizen of the country and responsible citizen of the world, I would like to bring positive impact in any way I can. The better efficiency of the agriculture industry affects me big time too because the more food production there is, the better food quality and price I can eat. So, instead of complaining I decided to join the challenge in a hope that I can make a difference in the future.

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.

Ethiopia is landlocked country located in Eastern Africa. It borders Kenya, South Sudan, Somali, Djibouti and Sudan. Here are interesting facts about this African nation: Addis Ababa, the capital city, is the highest capital city in Africa, at 2,400 metres. Ethiopia is the second most-populous country in Africa, with a population of over 90 million people by 2015. It is second to Nigeria, which had a population of over 174 million people by 2013. Over 80 languages are spoken in this country. English is the language of instruction in institutions of higher learning. The most widely spoken local languages are Oromo, Amharic, Somali and Tigrinya. Allegedly, the Ark of the Covenant that holds the 10 Commandments is in a church in this country. However, only one man knows how true this is, and he is the only one who guards it. Ethiopia fought against the Scramble for Africa, and it is one of the few countries that were not colonized, though Italians occupied it for at least five years. Coffee was discovered in this country, in Kaffa region. A shepherd discovered this famous beverage when his goats ate the leaves and became restless. Ethiopia has a distinct alphabet. The oldest fossil of Early man was discovered here. Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian, won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal, in 1960. About 70% of the mountains of Africa are in this country. Lake Tana in this country, supplies the Blue Nile River, which feeds the White Nile River before joining the Great Nile River. This country has been mentioned severally in the Bible and the Quran. Ethiopia has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. The nine sites are Aksum, Fasil Ghebbi, Harar, Konso Cultural Landscape, Lower Valley of the Awash, Lower Valley of the Omo, Rock-Hewn Churches, Simien National Park and Tiya. The Ethiopian Calendar has 13 months and it is 7 ½ years behind the Gregorian calendar. New Year in Ethiopia starts on 11th September and a day later in a leap year. Ethiopia is the diplomatic capital of the continent, since it hosts the headquarters of Kenya African and international organisations such as the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO and UNDP. Ethiopia is one of the main destinations for tourists exploring the Horn of Africa. It has a beautiful blend of cultures and delicious exotic dishes. It has numerous airports to get you to any destination within the country. Among these key points of entry is Addis Ababa Airport, also known as Bole International Airport. Source: Jovago.com

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

105000000

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

Environment- As global population continues to grow every year so too does the demand for agricultural products. To continue feeding the world without damaging the environment is one of the greatest challenges faced by the society and can only be achieved by increasing the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production. To achieve this task we need to eliminate all the possibilities that could be a problem prior to dealing with the problem. One of the problem is crop diseases and this project focus on elimination of one of transmission path of crop pathogens which is soil borne diseases. When a soil borne diseases occur, it can travel faster than anyone can notice and the result is catastrophic because the pathogens will affect all trees, crops and every plants nearby. This will lead to disaster for the environment because the health of the environment directly aligned with the well being of plants. Environmental crisis risk includes shortage of water, biodiversity reduction will occur due to the reduction of trees killed by the pathogens because reduction of plants will lead to alteration of the food chain which will affect the biodiversity. The reduction of plants also lead to increasing greenhouse gases bringing damage to the environment. 

Diets- As the global population continues to grow every year, so too does the demand for agricultural products. For example agricultural land (% of land area) in Ethiopia was reported at 36.26% in 2014, according to the World Bank. In 2014 the population of Ethiopia was reported 97.37 million and in 2019 the population is approximately 112.08 million. As you can see the population is increasing at faster rate than the food supply capacity and imagine if there is an out break of crop killing soil borne diseases or pathogens. This will bring high impact on the economics of the country. 

Economics- The majority of farmers in Ethiopia are smallholder farms, producing mostly for own consumption and generating only a small marketed surplus. Smallholder farms means low capacity in terms of finance and will likely go bankrupt if there is out break of crop killing soil borne diseases or pathogens. This will affect the country's trade, investment, income level and other essential economic factors. 

Culture- Food plays big role on the ethics of a society. The more a society is feed, the more it holds its value. Lack of basic necessity like food will make human beings omit their value and results in crisis of peace and order. 

Technology- The majority of Ethiopian farmers are low tech because low tech is cost wise and labor based. Low tech solution that ensures health of crop is priceless.

Policy- After seeing the efficiency of this project government will make law to apply this technology.

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

One of the main problem faced by agriculture is crop diseases and usually when there is outbreak of crop diseases occur near farming area, the result is devastating. This is because there are many ways the diseases transmits and among them is via under ground soil. Therefore in the future farm lands will be isolated by simple underground isolation mechanism prior to occurring of any problems. This will eliminate the possibility of crop diseases transmission via soil. The isolation will be done by installing protective cover that will not harm the soil and will not be decomposed on 360 degree and may be at the bottom depending up on the depth we install the protective cover. When installing the protective cover the first thing is digging X amount of depth in circular or rectangular edge of the farm land. Then install the protective cover. If the farm land is relatively small and we install the protective cover on low depth we can also install the cover at the bottom too. But this require taking out the farm land soil, install the protective cover and put back the soil again. The importance of this project is known when there is crop crises when a pathogen that travels via soil and kill crop occurs. To talk about the cost we first need to understand well the risk of farm lands when they are facing underground pathogens that will destroy the crops. The risk are catastrophic because forget about the loss of money for the farmers and imagine the after effect of it. Farmers feed the whole country and the world. 1 U.S. farmer feeds 155 people worldwide and if the crop of that farmer is destroyed 155 people have to work on finding their food themselves and this will prevent them from generating income because they will be forced to change work. Also when the 155 people stopped working it has direct impact with the economy of the country. This will bring a crisis in economical, social, political, environmental, cultural and others that will not be compared to the initial investment of the project. Implementing this technology will solve all these problems generated by the soil transmitting pathogens that kills crop fields.

This project also enable water to stay at upper level of near the root of the crops saving water in dry season if the protective cover is installed at the bottom too in addition to the side of the farm land. This will be very critical if lack of water is common in some places saving the crop big time.  

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.

Before talking about the effect of post implementation of this project, it is important to have clear and full understanding of the risk farm lands face and how often those risk become reality. This will force us to understand what risk really mean well. Risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has an negative effect. Meaning risk is a possibility of something to occur. In business sense, companies spends fortune to avoid some risk because there are some risk that you just can not recover from if it happens. When dealing with critical issue like food industry, if you do not consider investing in the minimization of risk, it will be more of gambling than justified scientific business. So when we proceed to what will be like for the lives of farmers after this project is implemented, the answer will be simple which is their business will transition from being a gamble to real justified scientific business that gives big peace of mind if soil borne diseases occur. You can not quantify this feeling because it depends on personality of farmers but if you are thinking from logical and scientific approach this has tangible effect as seeing clear data.    

I developed this idea when I was working on Saving the ʻŌhiʻa – Hawaiʻi’s Sacred Tree Challenge which you can see via https://conservationx.com/challenge/invasives/ohia and my idea was to do an experiment to know the transmission path of the pathogen killing the Ohi'a tree in Hawaii which you can see via https://conservationx.com/project/id/302/soiltestexperiment or https://conservationx.com/challenge/invasives/ohia/projects 

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

My vision 2050 is seeing an agriculture practice that is free from possibility of crop destruction by soil borne diseases specifically plant parasitic nematodes that cause devastating loss to food and cash crop production annually. 

One of the main problem faced by agriculture is crop diseases and usually when there is outbreak of crop diseases occur near farming area, the result is devastating. This is because there are many ways the diseases transmits and among them is via under ground soil. Therefore in the future farm lands will be isolated by simple underground isolation mechanism prior to occurring of any problems. This will eliminate the possibility of crop diseases transmission via soil. The isolation will be done by installing protective cover that will not harm the soil and will not be decomposed on 360 degree and may be at the bottom depending up on the depth we install the protective cover. When installing the protective cover the first thing is digging X amount of depth in circular or rectangular edge of the farm land. Then install the protective cover.

This will impact all aspect the six interconnected themes: Environment, Diets, Economics, Culture, Technology, and Policy.   

Environment

As global population continues to grow every year so too does the demand for agricultural products. To continue feeding the world without damaging the environment is one of the greatest challenges faced by the society and can only be achieved by increasing the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production. To achieve this task we need to eliminate all the possibilities that could be a problem prior to dealing with the problem. One of the problem is crop diseases and this project focus on elimination of one of transmission path of crop pathogens which is soil borne diseases. When a soil borne diseases occur, it can travel faster than anyone can notice and the result is catastrophic because the pathogens will affect all trees, crops and every plants nearby. This will lead to disaster for the environment because the health of the environment directly aligned with the well being of plants. Environmental crisis risk includes shortage of water, biodiversity reduction will occur due to the reduction of trees killed by the pathogens because reduction of plants will lead to alteration of the food chain which will affect the biodiversity. The reduction of plants also lead to increasing greenhouse gases bringing damage to the environment. So implementation of this project will eliminate the risk of environmental crisis caused by soil borne diseases. 

Diets

As the global population continues to grow every year, so too does the demand for agricultural products. For example agricultural land (% of land area) in Ethiopia was reported at 36.26% in 2014, according to the World Bank. In 2014 the population of Ethiopia was reported 97.37 million and in 2019 the population is approximately 112.08 million. As you can see the population is increasing at faster rate than the food supply capacity and imagine if there is an out break of crop killing soil borne diseases or pathogens. This will bring high impact on the economics of the country. So implementation of this project will eliminate the economical risk caused by soil borne diseases.

Economics

The majority of farmers in Ethiopia are smallholder farms, producing mostly for own consumption and generating only a small marketed surplus. Smallholder farms means low capacity in terms of finance and will likely go bankrupt if there is out break of crop killing soil borne diseases or pathogens. This will affect the country's trade, investment, income level and other essential economic factors. Meaning if there is no supply of food products from farmers there will not be trade of any kind and this will lead in lack of investment from investors and business men and women. This will bring all sort of negative impact and will be seen tangible bad outcome with in short period of time.

Culture

Food plays big role on the ethics of a society. The more a society is feed, the more it holds its value. Lack of basic necessity like food will make human beings omit their value and results in crisis of peace and order. The culture of the society defines the people who live in the society and if the peoples omit the very culture and value no matter it is because of lack of food supply, it brings loss of identity which brings social, economical, political and other crisis. So if we think systematically, all factors are linked together and when one falls other will as well like a domino.  

Technology

The majority of Ethiopian farmers are low tech because low tech is cost wise and labor based. Low tech solution that ensures health of crop is priceless. Upgrading technological product to improve farming practice will increase the efficiency and out put of food product but there will not be any product if there is an out break of pathogens that transmit via soil. This project will also act as precondition to implement what ever technology we intend to use.   

Policy

After seeing the efficiency of this project government will make law to apply this technology. For large scale farmers this should not be big problem but for small scale farmers some kind of incentive is needed.

Once this system is implemented in Ethiopia, the mechanism can be adopted worldwide. This indicates that this project has big trans-formative potential and will inspire many people living in many areas to adopt the system.  

This project also enable water to stay at upper level of near the root of the crops saving water in dry season if the protective cover is installed at the bottom too in addition to the side of the farm land. This will be very critical if lack of water is common in some places saving the crop big time.  

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

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Photo of Etyang Tiberious
Team

Hello Food System Vision Prize participant,
Salvation Farming Solutions team would like to invite you for a session on multi-stakeholder interactions for sustainable farming practices and community educational programming for Friday, January 31, 2020 at 4:00pm EAT.
The conversation will be moderated by Professor Leonard Sonnenschein, Founder SFS and Tiberious Etyang, SFS Managing Director for Africa.
The details of the meeting below:
Topic: Multi-stakeholders Conversation
Time: Jan 31, 2020 04:00 PM Nairobi
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/204673996
Meeting ID: 204 673 996
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Photo of Anteneh Gashaw
Team

Etyang Tiberious  Thank you for the invitation! It seems an interesting meeting and I will be available at the time of the meeting via the shared link!

Photo of Etyang Tiberious
Team

Anteneh Gashaw  Thanks. Can we schedule a follow up conversation with you to explore partnering? reach out via email:bryneousten@gmail.com or skype:dyehardman.
My colleague Leonard Sonnenschein  and Kenneth Masuki  will be joining the conversation.

Let us know the possibilities.

Best regards,

Tiberious

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