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Simple Tech, Major Impact - Alleviating Food Poverty - With Colin Andrews
Episode 1414th July 2022 • We Are Carbon • Helen Fisher
00:00:00 01:00:42

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Dramatically increasing crop yields & transforming lives for small holder farmers in south east Africa -

In this interview I'm joined by Colin Andrews to discuss regenerative practices that are supporting farmers in Malawi, along with the wider implications for food security worldwide.

Climate change can be a challenging topic for people to engage with. If we talk of atmospheric carbon dioxide or potential future problems it can seem very detached from our daily lives. And that's why I feel that nature based climate solutions should be given such a significant focus.

The steps that move us towards regenerating soil and supporting biodiversity and ecosystems will also bring big improvements to issues associated with climate change. And alongside the transformation can be witnessed right at our feet and bring benefits that we can quickly appreciate.

This episode is a wonderful example of the incredible speed and dramatic improvements that can come when we choose to understand and work in harmony with nature.

Colin brings us first hand experience of the method known as 'deep bed farming' taught by The Tiyeni Fund to smallholder farmers in Malawi.

The result from very low cost and simple approaches is dependably increased yields; from double to quadruple the norm.

The impact upon lives when food poverty and malnourishment are shifted to an excess of crops that can be sold could never be overestimated. More time and money along with less uncertainty allow for greater education & comfort and all round quality of life.

And I wondered what lessons the rest of the World could learn when it comes to the future of our food security.

Colin offers some wonderful analogies to help visualise the necessity to farm in harmony with soil and it's natural systems & relationships with plants and the microscopic life that it houses.

There's also some great insights into the history of land management in Malawi, along with the need to consider the collaborative and sociological angle in order to establish long term change.

Use the time stamps below to get a sense of what's included:

00:00:00 - Intro

00:02:15 - Colin's Background

00:03:45 - Lessons from Tiyeni, for global food security

00:08:43 - Signs of degraded soil in Malawi

00:12:04 - Why the soils became so depleted

00:14:37 - It gets worse! Chemicals introduced to farming

00:16:48 - Chemical fertilisers lead to poor nutrition in food

00:19:04 - The problem with 'traditional agriculture' in Malawi

00:22:55 - Are less brittle climates still at risk?

00:25:51 - An analogy for why soil health is crucial

00:27:53 - The rapid results of Tiyeni's methods

00:30:37 - The main focuses for regenerating soil

00:31:37 - Crop yield increase

00:33:40 - Pig pass on programme for compost

00:36:32 - Supporting a family of 8 on just 1/2 acre!

00:37:25 - Regeneration of micro climates mirrors out to support global climate concerns

00:41:12 - Simple tech has the answers, but why no major funding??

00:50:34 - Tiyeni alleviates food poverty; 12.5x profit increase over 5 years!

00:52:09 - Collaborative approach for lasting impact

00:54:01 - Focus on nutritional density for future global food security

00:57:12 - CSA; Community Supported Agriculture

00:59:07 - Learn more from Tiyeni

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And for more details on the Tiyeni Deep Bed Method you can watch their animation and find more insights at their website.