help others to help themselves
Mitigating Desertification Through the Combination of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Cultural Sensitivity
The DESERT FOOD Foundation’s objective is to mitigate the severe consequences of desertification, through the smart, entrepreneurial and culturally appropriate implementation of cutting-edge solar, desalination and agricultural drip irrigation technologies in the world’s deserts:
Solar panels capitalise the enormous energy potential of the sun
Desalination technologies transform the vast saltwater resources into fresh water accessible to human consumption
Agricultural drip irrigation technologies prevent water loss and evaporation
Innovative technologies alone, however, are not in themselves sufficient to assure sustainable development in arid desert regions. Just as important are participatory education programs which train local communities in farming, technological maintenance and agricultural sales.
More so, DESERT FOOD is firmly convinced that its farms need to achieve financial autonomy to become truly sustainable. To assure such financial autonomy the thus far high maintenance and repair costs of desalination technologies must be compensated for with highly efficient and profitable agricultural production systems.
This is not as straightforward as in the western world. The establishment of such systems is often complicated by high poverty levels and bad infrastructure, as well as distinct cultural patterns that require close consideration. To tackle such challenges, it is crucial for the DFF to closely collaborate with local experts and to establish strategic knowledge sharing partnerships.
Therefore, DESERT FOOD upholds a multidisciplinary agenda in order to truly advance sustainable, climate resilient development in desert regions: The foundation mobilises the high potential of new innovations, integrates these technologies in optimised agribusiness models, which in turn are strongly oriented according to the socio-cultural and economic context and expertise.
The Global Threat of Desertification
12 million hectares of fertile land are lost annually due to severe droughts and desertification. This is the equivalent to 29 times the area of Switzerland worth 20 million tons of grain, or 23 hectares of fertile land vanishing every minute.
The issue gains further severity when we become aware that the world’s poorest are those most affected by this phenomenon. 74% of the global poor and the majority of the world’s low-income, self-sustenance farmers live in areas affected by desertification.
Next to poverty and hunger, increasing desertification results in conflict, political instability and unrest, as well as a growing number of climate refugees. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) predicts that the number of climate refugees will reach 150 million people by 2050.
The DESERT FOOD Foundation wants to mitigate these severe consequences through the establishment of DESERT FOOD farms across the globe. Help us to realize this ambitious goal!