Simple Hydroponics to Grow Organic Food in Africa

World Hunger Team is a 15-year old non-profit based in Nashville, Tennessee. We create SYSTEMS to grow food in places where little to no food is grown now. All food produced by our systems is 100% organic. We focus on:

a) Abundant crops that can produce significant amounts of healthy food in the shortest-possible time frame.
b) "The Lost Crops of Africa" as well as of the Incas. We are testing "superfoods" that are not currently produced in high quantities, even though they sustained entire cultures in the past.
c) "Orphan Crops." These are varieties of vegetables that large food producers have shunned due to their short shelf-life. They are often FAR more nutritious than the varieties found in most stores today.

We are introducing these techniques and crops to farmers in the remote jungle regions of Uganda. We currently own 7 acres of rich farmland in Namalemba Village, Uganda, which is our test farm. We recently received a donation of a $5,000 solar irrigation pump, with which we are now fully irrigating all 7 acres to expand our crop testing.

This is an EXTREMELY LOW BUDGET approach to a very high-tech way of growing food effectively: HYDROPONICS.

One of the biggest hurdles in designing ANY food growing system for sub-Saharan Africa is ACCESS TO MATERIALS. It is often cost-prohibitive and logistically challenging to bring building supplies in from far distances. That is why our solution uses items that are found everywhere - and are economical to boot.

1) We use OLD TIRES and DISCARDED WOODEN PALLETS to create low-cost "tables" that can withstand great weight.




2) We use TALL TREE BRANCHES to form upright posts, on which to attach a protective roof structure. These tree branches are put through the pallets and two layers of old tires, and the tree is counter-sunk by about 2 feet. The hole - and the first tire - are filled with concrete. This will give the entire unit stability.

As shown in the illustration, we use two layers of 6 OLD TIRES as the base. TWO PALLETS are placed on top to form the table top. On each pallet we place 12 PAINT BUCKETS. So in the illustration below, we have a total of 24 plants growing at all times.






4) We use the "Kratky Method" of hydroponics to grow the plants. It is one of the simplest, most forgiving and reliably effective ways to grow food. A single 4" mesh cup holds the plant; all-natural mineral nutrients are used as the plant food. The resulting food is 100% organic.



5) TRELLIS MADE OUT OF TREE LIMBS & WOOD FROM A PALLET. A protective roof-like structure is built using locally-found materials. Clear plastic covers the angled roof, protecting the plants against downpours but allowing sunlight to pass to grow the food.




That is the construction methodology. The unit shown - complete with purchase of the tires and the wooden pallets @ $10 each local Uganda price - and all materials and 6 months of nutrients - is less than $300.

The system will continue to grow food for many years. This one unit will easily yield 3 to 4 crops of greens per month, such as Sukuma (local spinach), Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, etc. That is a yield of 24 heads per harvest, or a total of 72 to 96 heads per month. That is enough food to keep a village of 15 to 20 people alive.

ECONOMY + SIMPLICITY + PROVEN SYSTEM = RESULTS.

Can you help us get these units built and tested in remote jungle villages throughout Uganda? Thank you for your generosity. And remember at year's end: ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
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Make a donation
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World Hunger Team, Inc.
 
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