Nothing but inspiration: #tffsummit

#TFFSummit Top Left: The women that change the world, Top Right: Winners Team Innovision, Bottom Left: Runner up Team FoPo, Bottom Right: winners of the special prize and runner up, Team Aahaar. Photos Courtesy Thought for Food

#TFFSummit Top Left: The women that change the world, Top Right: Winners Team Innovision, Bottom Left: Runner up Team FoPo, Bottom Right: winners of the special prize and runner up, Team Aahaar. Photos Courtesy Thought for Food

And the winners are…

Team Innovision! You can see the shock and amazement on their faces having won the 2014 Thought for Food Challenge. Surprise was in store as there was not one, but two runner ups each winning a prize, Team FoPo and Team Aahar. The latter team took home an extra prize provided by The Kirchner Group Food Fellows making them double winners! Congratulations all around! During the event Tech4agri live tweeted and by the end of the finalists’ pitches, no one know who would be the winner. The judges needed extra time in fact to give an answer. Only then do you see how they came to their decision. Each team winning had a direct and immediate impact in reducing food waste by the billions of dollars in addition to measured social impact

Humble thoughts on winning strategies

Team Innovision developed a solar-powered micro-climate chamber for small scale farmers that increases shelf life of fruits and vegetables using an evaporation cooling system. What clearly stood out was the invention’s low cost as an affordable substitute for refrigeration to reduce food loss in developing countries, the overall contribution to food security and its potential to remove the use of a poisonous fruit and vegetable preservative used in their home country.

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Urban Agriculture on the Rise

A Window Farm built of recyclable materials. It was built and displayed by the Agribusiness Society (ABS) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) at its orientation week event.

In studies at the University of the West Indies, most agri-based students learn of the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas in search of employment and entertainment. We students are taught that as a direct result of this movement, rural agriculture suffers. ‘Many young persons simply do not perceive agriculture to be a worthwhile career.’ We’ve all heard this phrase before. However this trend seems to be changing worldwide.

With the ever increasing demand for food and nutrition security, health concerns are rising. These include the issue of genetically modified foods and their contamination of natural food commodities; the  negative effect that industrial agriculture has on biodiversity and the environment; and the need for sustainable agriculture among other issues.

A new trend has emerged in the global landscape. I refer to Urban Agriculture.

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Redesigning the world – BIOMIMICRY

One of the members of this blog provided a link to a proficient video. It has a slow start but it gets interesting later on. It deals with redesigning the world… redesigning or reinventing everything and I do mean everything, to work in sync with nature and to work as efficient as nature.

Confused? Its called Biomimicry; a prevalent field in Ecology that has wide reaching linkages to other fields such as agricultural engineering and agroecology. See the video here: http://vimeo.com/24540116

Here is a definition according to http://www.biomimicryinstitute.org/

What is Biomimicry? Print E-mail

Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example. I think of it as “innovation inspired by nature.”

The core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth. This is the real news of biomimicry: After 3.8 billion years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival.

See this links for more info:

http://www.biomimicry.net/

http://asknature.org/