Integrated organic poultry, vegetable and fruit garden; a regenerating food system approach towards combating the burdens of malnutrition
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
The Buea municipal council is the Sub Divisional headquarter of Buea and the South West Regional head quarter of Cameroon, a place of my originality and a citadel for learning. it is a complex community caught between a blend of urban, semi urban, rural and traditional settings. Buea Municipality is bounded to the north by tropical forest on the slope of mount Cameroon 4100m above sea level. The mountain range extends to the beautiful sandy beaches of Atlantic Ocean. The town also share boundary with other major citiess like the City of Limbe, douala, tiko etc with an equatorial climate, temperatures are moderate with a slight seasonal variation rainy and dry season. Buea has moderate economy with agricultural, administrative, business, tourism and the financial sector taking the central stage of the town. Buea has an estimated annual growth rate of 5% as per UN projections for urban population growth rate for Africa with good climate, very fertile soils and quality water with close to 7000 people migrating into the city in search for jobs, research, academic, tourism, leisure, sports, and livelihood etc
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.
The indigenous people of this area are the Bakweri people but because it is a fast growing town it now has a mix constellation of more that 100 different tribes who have migrated into the area for many different reasons. Irrespective of poverty the people like to eat quality meals full of spiced vegetables and meat with fruits in the form of salade or sauce. Buea is sitted on the slopes of mount Cameroon and it has an equatorial climate with two seasons namely the rainy and dry season. The area is compose of undulating high and low lands with black basalts which are very rich in nutrients and allow for the cultivation of many different crops. Temperature ranges from 20-28 degrees and with an annual rainfall of about 3000-5000mm. The people of Buea have many cultural festivals like the mountain race, Malay dance, and traditional wrestling which has attracted alot of tourist and people from other neighboring tribes withing the country and internationally. The Bakweri language is mostly spoken by the indigenous people while the general official languages include English and French. The town is linked to many major urban cities and rural areas through a connective road network and it has a very easy access from any direction withing the country through road transport. Agriculture, aquaculture and other livestock farming is emerging due to the high population influx which has stimulated the high demand for food and the hopes of the people is to see more advancement in sustainable agricultural practices for the production of nutritious food stuff to replace the originally cultivated staple foods that has proned the community to the issues of micronutrient deficiency and other malnutrition related diseases.
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Currently, about 60% of the population of families living in this area are faced with the issue of eating poor nutritional diets due to financial difficulties and strong attachment to their culture thus it is going to be a great challenge bringing them to the realities of this modified food system to improve their nutrtition. I will also be faced with environmental challenges due to the over exploitation of natural resources as road and house construction companies rely on the basalting soils with the cutting down the forest without replacement using timber for construction of mega structures with advanced technological appliances that vibrates and distabilise the environment thereby causing environmental hazards to soils, water sources and climate chang which has a great effect on the output of my food system. By 2050 i will have a main challenge of expanding my land space to completely build my food system. I also would have to provide a sound practice approach to make my food system sustainable for the environment and community. Also I will need to acquire modern technolgy skills for a cheaper and reliable energy source with a sustainable packaging and preservation method for my products. morelso i will have to consider the threshold principle and policy for inputs within my food system in order to avoid wastage. I will also need to partner with other groups of organization in order to establish a valuable food chain for my food system such as seeking better ways to get my products delivered to other parts where it is not available. Lastly my food system will be facing great competition from other processed foods so I will be looking for a means to dorminate the market both nationally and intentionally.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
My vision will have to shift our diets to become more flexible so as to reduce our dependence on red meat and ensuring that vulnerable populations in emerging markets will have access to eggs, chickens and other nutrient rich vegetables and fruits. On the issue of constrained natural resources and food fuel conflict, which in turn destroy the land and other natural resources, we will bring modern policies to vulnerable areas and populations to better ensure global stability. We will have to reduce food loss and waste through recycling into the system and by continuously reinventing our storage, transport and retail supply chains facilities in order to reduce food waste and loss to minimal levels. We must save our soils and reduce the dramatic loss of soil in most agricultural systems thus our work will be purely organic to provide a sound practice to the environment and to replenish the soils. We will focus on re-fertilizing the soil by recycling our waste to make a compose plant for organic manure production thereby providing an alternative to artificial inputs that will enable farmers to optimize yields and the long term health of land. Also we will make an insect culture where we will part of our poultry waste to grow maggots which will be used as feed for our chickens this will give big environmental and economic benefit and will be another innovation to recycle our poultry waste and create a sustainable food source. I will have to also incorporate the innovative scientific technology plan and carry out the work by partnering with some unconventional actors to create this food system that will benefit the community by producing healthy, nourishing and sustainable diet that is high in proteins, vitamins and other micro-nutrients, to replace ultra-processed foods that are providing us with too much sugar, starch, and salt. The most interesting ways to change the culture and mentality of the people to move from high consumption of stapple foods and ultra-processed foods will be to work in partnership with schools and hospitals to help educate their students or patients on the health benefits of switching from eating stapple foods to eating nutrient rich organic foods. With the increasing use of cell phone technologies we will create an app on goggle store to enable farmers to make better decisions to develop interest on new new protective and healthier foods. We will have to improve our storage and preservative facility by developing a really good cold storage and waste reducing facility that uses solar as a source of energy which is reliable and sustainable. We will also be using organic sealed bags for packaging and preserving dried products this to reduce food loss. And finally we will have to build strong relationships with other entrepreneurs along the food value chain in order to successfully see a meaningful progress in our organic agricultural food system.
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 organic food system will be characterized with a future environment that has reduced dependence on chemical inputs and increase concern for transparency and information. The reduced inputs in our organic system will lead to greater reliance on local knowledge, thereby creating a stronger knowledge community amongst the people of this community. Our organic system will promote ecological benefits of reduced chemical application, health benefits of lower chemical consumption, economic benefits that accrue to farmers through price premium and social benefits which will increase transparency in the food system. We would have also been able to make a transformative move from red meat consumption and towards a healthier plant and poultry based alternative which will serve as a sustainable approach towards climate change and land degradation while meeting the nutritional requirement of this emerging city with growing population. The consumption of our organic diets will present a major opportunity towards reducing greenhouse emissions and improving the health of individuals in this community. Our major impact will present a road map in creating knowledge, innovation and provides a significant solution to food system that provides a major boost to improving the livelihood of the people in this community and guarantee a sustainable future for all who live in this area. Finally our system will provide knowledge which will help shape collaborative research data agenda needed to transform the global food system and deliver sustainable food and nutritional security.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
My vision is a simple and flexible integrated organic farming system working in line with agricultural norms in my locality. It will constitute a big land space partitioned into different departments; a Hatchery section, Poultry section with a slaughter house, gardening section, packaging and branding section, storage/preservation section, animal feed formulation section, compose manure production section, a water source and a solar panel with preservation and transportation facility not living out a lively guest house and restaurant. This system will be a closed and complex interrelating system which entails keeping of poultry for meat and egg production along with the cultivation of fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, broccolis, cabbages, carrots, tomatoes, water melon and cucumber in order to produce diets that are rich in proteins and enough vitamins and micro-nutrients. We are going to install the poultry and keep two separate species of birds, i.e. the broilers and the layers for meat and egg production respectively these birds will be gotten from eggs incubated from our hatchery and raised alongside with a garden for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. The organic produce will be grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers and our chicks will be raised without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones. The waste from the poultry will be used as a resource in two ways; for the production of compose manure used as organic fertilizer for the growing of our fruits and vegetables and also for confinement to culture maggots and other insects to be used as a source of protein for the feeding of the chicks. Part of the waste fruits, vegetables and egg shells will also be incorporated with the maggots to serve as a complete feed for the poultry while the others will be added to the poultry waste for the production of rich organic manure meant to cultivate the nutrient rich fruits and vegetables. The system will also consist of a processing, packaging and branding section where we are going to blend and compact the feathers of the slaughtered chicken to produce egg trays and packaging bags sealed internally with aluminum foil paper for the packaging our finished products with our brand name, website and contact address written on them. The housing for the birds will be constructed using basalt gravels sorted from the soil and roofed with natural materials from bamboo to avoid direct sunlight or rain into the poultry, the walls will be made with barb wires after about a two metres concrete elevation from the foundation level, and the floor will be concreted and filled with saw dust obtained from neighboring sawmills which shall be removed and replaced on a weekly base to avoid ammonia odour from polluting the environment. The slaughter house will be made with a tiled slab connected with water supply with good drainage to a receptive septic tank. Also all other waste water from the various sectors of the system will be channeled through in to the septic tank for recycling and re-use to water our garden. Within the garden, we shall install screen traps for pest and insects which will be useful for our poultry feed. We shall also develop our water catchment and conserve it by building embarkments and planting water conserving trees all around the catchment area to provide continues flow of fresh and natural water at all times for the poultry, garden and restaurant. We shall use a solar system as a source of energy for constant lightening and powering of all appliances and equipments within our food system. The system will rely on labor from university students from the various departments of agriculture, sociology, commerce, economics, marketing law, food science and even political science etc. our land space will be fenced all round with shade trees chained with barb wires and each sector in the system will also be demarcated with fruit trees. Every activity in the food system will operate 24/7 and our restaurant will specialize mostly on fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken and egg cuisines with good aroma. We shall make use of the nearby markets and cities using our logistic facilities; air conditioned minibuses and tri-cycles to efficiently supply our finished products and fast food both raw and packaged respectively to nearby cities and hotels in order to avoid food loss and wastage. Furthermore, we are going to host a website and create a goggle app where consumers can inquire and place their order for onward supply of our finished products. Local community leaders, university students, rural women, officials involved in food and agriculture and health in the locality will be the major stake holders in this food system while we are extensively going to work in partnership with media organs and play a central role to sponsor local sports and cultural events thereby advertising and persuading people to be interested in our products.