Sustainable charcoal: Is that possible?

 

Eastern Timbers Youth Group

Members of the Eastern Timbers, Sustainable charcoal project

Originally posted on The #Forests 2015 Blog

“For many persons the concept of charcoal and sustainability is a contradiction. However we have been able to develop a method to do just that” said Kurt Harris, SLAFY representative.

The St. Lucia Agricultural Forum for Youth (SLAFY) is a part of the Caribbean Agriculture Forum for Youth (CAFY). As a larger Caribbean initiative, CAFY was set up to encourage greater youth participation in agriculture. It’s meant to be the youth voice in the field for the region with chapters throughout the islands.

SLAFY as part of its mandate seeks to assist its members in developing and participating in agriculture, be it through agribusiness, training, policy making and consultancy.

The Eastern Timbers proposal, managed by SLAFY, was successful in gaining grant funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and is well on its way to establish full sustainability. Kurt tells us more:

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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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