Posted on April 16, 2012 by btx3
Sometimes a low tech solution far outperforms more high tech or direct measures. In this case red hot chili peppers serve to save farmer’s crops from elephants.
Get a whiff of this!
MIKUMI VILLAGE, Tanzania—Snap. Crack. Pop.
That’s the sound of an African elephant with a dangerous case of the munchies crashing through underbrush at 25 miles per hour.
Said Longwa, a 52-year-old farmer and father of nine, used to face down crop-raiding elephants with nothing but a flashlight. Others in Mikumi village would beat tin cans or light fires; some exploded homemade pipe bombs. But the sound and fury didn’t deter the largest land mammals on Earth from staging nightly assaults on fields of corn and watermelon.
A BULL ELEPHANT
During the worst period of crop raids several years ago, charging elephants killed three people from Mr. Longwa’s village, in the Morogoro region in central Tanzania, more than 118 miles from the coastal capital of Dar es Salaam.
When the elephants visit Mr. Longwa’s cornfield these days, they screw up their long noses and trumpet in consternation.
Mr. Longwa has treated his fence with chili mixed with engine oil—a preparation that adheres to the fence, even in heavy rain. “They will mull it over and often circle two to three times,” the farmer says of the elephants that approach his fence. “But once they get a real whiff of the chili, they snuffle and sneeze.” And leave the scene. (more…)
Filed under: Africa | Tagged: chili peppers, crops, elephants, farming, hot pepper, insecticide, repellent, Tanzania | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 7, 2010 by btx3
This one has been bubbling below the surface for a while, and not just in Haiti. The seeds to plant corn, or just about any other crop are big business. For thousands of years, farmers would hold back a portion of the crop to harvest the seeds to plant next years crop. Farmers would practice a basic level of genetic manipulation by selecting seeds from the most successful plants. Today that has evolved into an agribusiness, where crops are genetically tailored – sometimes through manipulating the genetic structure of the plant directly.
One of the manipulations is that the crops derived from these “manipulated plants” cannot produce viable seeds. Ergo, you can’t set aside a portion of the crop and use the seeds to plant next year. Indeed, since the new, genetically modified seeds don’t last very long, you can’t even use last year’s seeds. You have to buy new seeds each and every year.
In large scale commercial agribusiness type farming, there are benefits to this. The benefits aren’t so clear to small scale farms.
Monsanto’s seeming “largesse” in donating seeds to Haiti as such isn’t totally altruistic. If the Haitian Farmers utilize the Monsanto seeds, they are stuck with buying new seeds each and every year…
Monsanto becomes a permanent partner – whether the Haitian people want it or not, and will collect and annual “vig” of tens of millions of revenue each year from the sale of each year’s seeds.
It would also be very interesting to see who owns the brand new Monsanto franchise in Haiti…
The “usual suspects”… Indeed.
Filed under: Great American Rip-Off, The Post-Racial Life | Tagged: farm, farming, genetic crop. genetic engineering, Haiti, march, monsanto, protest, seeds | 7 Comments »