By Emily Hamlin

SUBMITTED PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
A compost pit will help provide nutrients for plants in the field.

Ag Communications/Administrative Asst. Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau

In the US, we take advantage of technology. Almost all of us have access to some kind of Wi-Fi enabled device all of the time. In fact, we are seeing technology raise some issues in younger generations. When it comes to agriculture, we also take advantage of technology. The technology that is available today in farming is incredible. But, we also take advantage of the little things, too. The farming techniques and concepts that seems so minimal to us can be revolutionary to those in developing countries. I saw this first hand this last month. I went on an agricultural missions trip to Chad in Africa with the Global Aid Network (GAiN). I saw simple ag techniques change lives.

My team and I arrived in our village in Chad on April 9th, after a few days of travel. In country GAiN missionaries had just finished digging a well beside the local church in March. Each well GAiN digs serves at least 500 people.

Eighty-nine local church planters, evangelists, and pastors were invited to the village of Koli to attend the agricultural training my team was facilitating. Through these men, 52 local churches were represented and 12 “county” areas. Our training was focused on soil health, advantageous farming techniques, irrigation, and more. A compost pit, two meters deep, was dug and filled with green plant material, dry plant material, animal waste, black soil, and ash. These substances will be of use to add carbon and nitrogen back into the sandy soil to restore it to a proper growing foundation.

Once the compost pit was finished, 22 raised beds were established. This technique allows for better water retention and less soil compaction; two concepts that are revolutionary to the growing traditions that were customary in this area. A bucket drip irrigation system, with two drip lines each, was put in place for every raised bed. Simply put, two lines that run the whole length of the raised bed are attached to a bucket that is hung three feet above the bed. These lines have…

For full article, pick up the May 9 BDR.