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June 9, 2017 | Solar-Tech Farming Returns Self-Determination Power to the People

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

In the remote highlands in central Bolivia, intense frosts and water shortages make growing vegetables difficult and the nutritional intake limited.  This sent many young people to cities and factories looking for work.  But then a programme run by the Ministry of Rural and Land Development, with the support of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other U.N. agencies brought smart solar tents and training to local villages.  The women of the communities are now growing nutrient rich, diverse diets to power their families.  Many are leaving the textile workshops of Argentina and Brazil and returning to a healthier more balanced life on their land.  After two years of skills training, there is no more child malnutrition.  See Solar tents improve nutrition in highlands villages in Bolivia.

“I used to buy vegetables for 100 Bolivian pesos (about 12 dollars), but now I save that money…We used to not eat well, now we eat clean and we know what we are eating. We are stronger eating these vegetables…

Jhaneth Rojas, a young farmer from Phuyuwasi, described to IPS how much her family’s dietary habits changed, as she pulled red radishes from the dirt and showed them to us with a smile.

Local farmers did not used to grow radishes, beets, cucumbers, squash, green beans, broccoli or spinach, but today “my father is interested in expanding the solar tent so that his children grow strong” with the production and intake of vegetables, said Rojas.

The project began in this village of 102 families in February 2016 with six tents, and today the community grows vegetables in 28 solar greenhouse tents.

Communities in Pocona, with a combined total population of 14,000 people, asked for technical support and supervision to build another 36 greenhouse tents…”

Technology enhanced micro-farming is increasing yield and crop diversity with a fraction of the water usage while supporting local ecology.  Whether rural communities in Bolivia or inner cities everywhere, the whole world will benefit from fresh thinking on local food and energy production.  Putting healthy food and self-determination back in the hands of the people.  This is what smart and sustainable looks like.

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June 9th, 2017

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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