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Illustrations for subsistence farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

Illustrations for subsistence farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

More and Better Food is a guide for food security in the age of climate change and the AIDS epidemic. It presents basic information about food and health, managing soil and water, and improving productivity through organic farming methods which help to address the challenges of climate change. The co-authors: Rev Dr Anne Bayley is a writer and consultant on HIV and related issues. She is a former Professor in the School of Medicine at University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia. Mugove Walter Nyika is an environmental educator based in Malawi, with wide experience of permaculture and of integrated land use design for school communities. (The information above is taken from the Strategies for Hope website.)

Encouraging communities and individuals to make changes and adjustments to their traditional ways of working the land is challenging as people who are on the edge of crisis, whose energy levels are low due to illness or hunger, have more to lose than most of us in the West can even begin to imagine. Additionally people who are taking anti-retroviral medication for HIV infection need a regular diet that is relatively high in protein.

Permaculture principals; everything works together, recycle everything, see solutions not problems, reduce energy inputs and increase yields. The word Permaculture is not used in the book but the principals are sound and of significant use for subsistence farmers in Sub Saharan Africa. This image is designed to show that the rewards for adjusting farming methods and thinking are that children and families can have lots to eat, that they can improve their yields, and that the people using these techniques are happy and healthy.

Drip irrigation and mulching. These techniques conserve and make the most of limited water supplies, by directing water right where the plant needs it, at the roots, and the mulch of leaves protects the soil and the plant from drying out. Planting indigenous trees (this is a coconut tree) is an important part of efforts to re-forrest the hillsides and landscape to prevent soil erosion.

Pawpaw, beans, marigolds and tomatoes; This is an example of a ‘guild’ of plants grown in combinations support each other. Plants are chosen from different plant groups; The Pawpaw is deep rooted and will help bring nutrients up from deep below the surface, climbers can provide extra food for very little extra space, legumes and beans fix nitrogen, marigolds provide ground cover to help protect the soil from erosion and attract pollinators.

Some more images from the book can be seen on my website: http://www.sarahbeare.com/page6.htm

More information about the publishers can be found on their website: http://stratshope.org/index.htm and http://stratshope.org/b-cc-09-food.htm

Permaculture principals help ensure happy, healthy children and families
Techniques to conserve and maximise limited water supplies
Pawpaw, beans, marigolds and tomatoes work to support each other as they grow