by David A. Nuttle
One-third of all land is desert. A vast majority of the 920 million people reportedly living on the brink-of-starvation live in or near these desert lands (U.N. data). Repetitive & horrific conflicts occur in desert nations such as Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and similar areas ... with conflicts often initiated due to water and food shortages. Modern counterdesertification practices , such as those first proven in the Thar Desert of NW India, can help to resolve the above problems.
My charity, Needful Provision, Inc. (NPI) has helped to perfect advanced counterdesertification practices based on: 1) Development of available and/or nearby water resources; 2) Solar distillation of salt water; 3) Drip-irrigation practices; 4) The addition of livestock manure effluent, to irrigation water, to provide nutrients for plants; 5) Addition of bioactivated biochar (at a 10 percent rate) to greatly increase the fertility of desert sands/ soils; 6) Initial planting of the desert vegetable Facai (Fa Cai) to help stop sand from blowing while also conserving available moisture; 7) Creation of windbreaks as needed; and 8) Planting a symbiotic mix of food, feed, fiber, niche and green energy crops known to be productive on hot arid lands.
The above counterdesertification practices, if utilized extensively, could help to save millions of lives and dramatically reduce the level and duration of conflict in desert nations. However, U.S. petroleum executives and their cronies in the U,S, Congress (cronies receiving political payola) are resisting any and all funding of counterdesertification projects, worldwide. This opposition is due to the fact that such an effort is expected to produce millions of gallons of biofuels from the lipids of jojoba (a desert-type green energy crop). There is some evidence that the global military-industrial complex may have also acted to deter development of counterdesertification efforts. It is clear that these interests generally desire to help sustain conflict causes (such as hunger) to promote sales of more military-type weapons to the known opponents.
Given the above said opposition, NPI’s staff was not surprised when the U.S. Agency for Intl. Development (USAID) refused to fund a counterdesertification effort in the deserts of Kenya ... an effort intended for export to Somalia and Sudan to help reduce conflict in those nations. No matter where NPI has turned for funding, that funding is generally being “blocked.” As noted above, I believe that “big oil” has used its wealth, political power and influence to effectively prevent viable counterdesertification projects from receiving the funds needed to proceed.
Due to NPI’s frustration in finding funds, for its counterdesertification projects, recent efforts have turned to crowdfunding. On the Indiegogo crowdfunding site, NPI has been seeking funds to help improve Facai production on desert lands. Facai is the foundation for very effective counterdesertification projects (see www.indiegogo.com for NPI’s “Facai Vegetable Production Project). In addition, NPI joined with the Unlimited Learning Center/ ULC (in Cortez, Colorado)
in seeking Indiegogo funding for a “Food Production and Food Security: Educating The World” campaign. ULC has an extensive distance education facility that was planned for use in teaching Third World students in improved food production/ food security techniques, to include counterdesertification. These two funding efforts are failing since NPI has yet to develop a large crowd of potential donors who fully understand the merits of counterdesertification and are willing to help fund such projects. (For details on the latter, search for Thar Desert.)
As you can see from the above, NPI continues to seek every possible funding option in an effort to fund its counterdesertification work. Our next effort may be to obtain specific project loans from the China Development Bank (P.R. China). The Chinese know about Facai since it is one of their favorite vegetables. Harvesting of wild Facai (from desert lands in China) has now been made illegal because excessive and improper harvesting of this plant has created massive sand storms in Chinese cities near large desert areas. Moreover, most Chinese clearly understand the need for counterdesertification efforts. When NPI discussed desert Facai farming and related counterdesertification with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) officials (for desert areas of the U.S.) USDA indicated they had no interest ... and did not see an obvious need.
You can help make the miracle of counterdertification more of a reality by working to make people more aware of the need for this solution. On an immediate basis, you can assist NPI in building a crowd of people willing to help crowdfund such projects in the U.S. and overseas. NPI was not prepared for its first crowdfunding efforts, but will try again after making much better preparations. As a general rule, a crowd of 2,000 potential donors is needed to find 200 who will actually donate an average of $25.00 each. Thus, crowdfunding is only one of many options NPI needs to further explore.
NPI’s founder, the author, has a unique innovation for successfully growing food crops in sand. He calls his invention “Hydroculture,” a term used to cover sustainable, biodynamic, integrated, organic and modified hydroponics production of poultry, algae, fish, vegetables and Grain Amaranth (see Nuttle’s U.S. Patent No. 5,121,708 and U.S. Preliminary Patent Application No. 61/795,914, dated 10/31/2012). By harvesting, storing and recycling water for the above system, rapid plant growth is achieved with plant roots in sand aided by nutrient additions from fish waste and algae. Some of the algae is also grown to feed algae-eating fish such as Tilapia. The author (myself) will be using Kickstarter’s crowdfunding site to seek funds for an interesting commercial counterdesertification demonstration using my hydroculture technology. (The title of this project is simply “Hydroculture Model.”)
If you would like to encourage or support counterdesertification efforts, please provide your expressions of encouragement as well as making a small donation to the above referenced crowdfunding campaigns. Thank you.