In recent decades, around a quarter of the earth's land area has become deserted and infertile. Africa in particular is affected. Assefa Tofu from World Vision Ethopia did not want to accept this and began to recultivate the destroyed landscape by planting trees. In 2013, the team started the relevant “DryDev” campaign. Around 60,000 farmers have so far taken part and around 50,000 hectares of fruitless land have been reclaimed thanks to the restoration of vegetation and water extraction, improved seeds and better training for farmers. The so-called famine months were reduced from 3.6 to 1.4 per year.
Fertilizing our soil with chemical agents is highly controversial and it has been proven that major problems are caused for our environment. Morten Toft is a tinkerer who has been dealing with circular economy in agriculture for 40 years. For this he developed the sustainable SyreN process for the use of organic fertilizers. This unique process converts harmful ammonia into ammonium during use, reduces ammonia emissions by 70% and increases the volume of plant nitrogen to about 50 kg per hectare. Phosphorus and sulphur are also supplied in the right amount. This is important know-how for the European agricultural policy.
Plastic is a unique material that unfortunately is very often misused. In Germany alone, around 6 million tons of plastic end up in the garbage every year, half of which is burned. A few years ago, the Graf company with 40 years of experience in recycling opened a raw material competence center in order to show which solutions are already possible today regarding plastics. For example, Graf will increase the proportion of recycled material in its plastic production, which is already 70% to an incredible 85%. This protects our planet, but also saves emissions equivalent to the operation of 60,000 cars.
The situation for small farmers in Ghana is extremely difficult, as the economic result is hardly sufficient to feed their families. And selling agricultural products on the market is unthinkable. Experts from the Technical University in Zurich took up the problem and analysed the soils in Ghana. It turned out that incorrect soil management has led to poor soil harvests. Now, a biochar compost has been developed which consists of charcoal waste, agricultural waste, chicken dung and organic waste from restaurants. Today, soil harvests can be increased 3 to 7 times on the same area without significant additional effort.