March 16, 2009

CAPE VERDE: Growing food without soil

Cape Verde farmers boost food production through hydroponics. With little rainfall and less than 10 percent cultivable land on the Republic of Cape Verde, a set of islands off the coast of western Africa, some farmers have sought to boost food production and nutrition through hydroponic farming techniques. By employing a nutrient solution and gravel instead of soil, hydroponic farmer Sergio Roque Monteiro said that he uses less than a fifth of the water and only a portion of the land that would be needed for traditional farming. With plans to expand his business, Mr. Monteiro stated that hydroponics can help fill both the production and nutrient gaps by planting a variety of products that provide plentiful and nourishing sustenance.

What a green way to go, Mr. Monteiro! We wish evermore bountiful harvests for the people of Cape Verde as more farmers make the switch to the efficient yet bountiful practice of hydroponics.

During the SOS International Conference on Urgent Problems of Climate Change held in January 2009 in Mongolia, Supreme Master Ching Hai gave some tips regarding such alternative ways of farming.

Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai Global Warming – SOS International Conference on Urgent Problems of Climate Change Mongolia - January 27, 2009

Supreme Master Ching Hai: If more and more people choose organic farming as well, we help each other to the best possible of our ability and most gentle way for all beings and the Earth. From then, we can share food since we have so much food. We can do that through such a method as hydroponics. You can even plant and harvest indoors, so we can do it also by ourselves.

There’s no need even farmers, if we have a little garden, we can plant it ourselves. Or if we have a balcony, we can even plant it in water. We must start now so that you can have your own vegetables. It’s very easy. If you just have a little pot even, on the balcony, the size you want. And you just sow some seed on it. A few days later, you already have some vegetables, salad, for example.

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