Michael Morrow, Marketing Manager for the Hoosier Harvest Market in Indiana, worked with producers, government representatives, NGOs, business leaders, among other strategic actors, presenting the experience of the establishing a Community-Supposed Agriculture platform - the Hoosier Harvest Market. He promoted the importance of local food markets for sustainable agricultural development. This is the first step of the project Farmer to Farmer Colombia towards its goal to create of such a local food system in Meta. Such a system could provide the kind of rural development required to resolve many conflicts and development issues in this region. And, best practices from this approach can later be scaled to other regions of Colombia. Michael Morrow poses at a roadside farmers' market with bags of mangos
Our next two volunteers to the Meta department of Colombia were Dave Roberts, a grazing lands conservation specialist for USDA in New York State; and Anne Dare, a Purdue School of Engineering post-doc research associate specializing in waste water management. waste water management.
Tallal Hassan, an agricultural engineer specializing in water resources for the Government of Pakistan, currentlya Humphrey Fellow at Cornell University, carried out our first volunteer assignment on water conseration in Meta. The participating farmer organizations identified these issues, that Tallal helped them to address:
Working with farmers, Tallal made the following recommendations for the Altillanura region:
Farmers were recommended to use Land Based
Rainfall Water Harvesting Systems for collecting water during rainy season.
These systems include following:
of storage ponds accordance to watershed area of the field. Simple and complete
designing was taught to the farmers to design, construct and maintain the
storage reservoirs countering the problems of infiltration and evaporation.
Farmers are encouraged to construct water reservoirs and if possible make big
reservoirs by joint collaboration of 2 or more farmers to overcome water
shortage problem during dry period.
Methods of improving water delivery systems from
reservoirs to field and house were taught using natural gravitational flow and
cost and operational efficient way to deliver water.
are recommended to upgrade the ground water exploration system from tradition
water wells to modernize tube well systems. Operation and benefit of tube well
operation was described to the farmers and cost benefit ratio was estimated to
show the benefits of tube well over simple well in long term perspective and
irrigation to crops in summer season.
are encouraged to make micro catchments around plants especially fruit plants
because it makes easy to irrigate plant during dry season as well with less
water application they can meet the crop water requirement.
For rainy season they can make eyebrow type
micro catchments in direction of water flow which will not only help in
stopping water near plant root zone for water requirements as well will help in
preventing soil erosion.
are encouraged to do plotting of their farms and plant trees on edges of those
plots which will help in retaining water in soil root zone and will provide
natural barrier against high speed wind, a major cause of soil erosion and
Please see this Facebook Page for photos!
What is the Small Farms and Food Hub Focus?
Purdue-Unillanos F2F Small Farms and Regional Food Hubs Country Project will
help to support a vibrant ‘small farm’
subsector in the Department of Meta, through food hubs and other value chain
support mechanisms. A ‘small farms’ approach promotes sustainable, community-based agricultural systems.
This framework, which represents a newer approach also in the
United States, was proposed by Unillanos and the organizations they work with.
In discussing small farmer needs in terms of technical support; capacity
building for farmer organizations; help with linkages to markets and secondary
processing; and help with advocacy for support of small farmers, the small
farms/regional food hub approach is a concept that responds very well to all of
these needs. All of these represent the technical assistance currently
requested from Unillanos and its partners, which, among others, will be host
organizations for this project.