Climate change is real, and it is getting uglier. Global temperatures are continuing to rise, placing enormous strain on water and food supplies throughout the world. Many areas have been hit hard by the climate disruption, but none more prominently than California, where the state has entered its fourth year of drought with massively diminishing water supplies and hectares of fallow land.
Water supplies may not be top of mind for many techies in the Bay Area – Tartine and Blue Bottle’s recent marriage is unlikely to be thwarted by some tap water problems. The challenge is that agriculture is a huge industry not just for California, but for the United States. The state produced almost a fifth of the country’s total agriculture output, worth almost $50 billion in 2013. With water supplies tightening, there has been growing attention to the high environmental costs of growing almonds and producing meat in increasingly arid conditions.
Improved soil management practices and better farming habits are putting smiles on the faces of women in Bafut, a community located about 400 kilometers (240 miles) from Cameroon's capital Yaounde.
These innovations all fall within the field of "permaculture," a system of sustainable agriculture and design principles aimed at creating a more ecological relationship with the environment.
The innovation was brought to the women by Joshua Kankonko, who grew up in the area. Women say they are experiencing better harvests and putting more money in their pockets as a result. The project has been running for two years.
Kankonko is the developer behind an eco-village built using only local materials. Farmers in the village have implemented permaculture practices aimed to benefit residents through better management of soil and environmental resources. Simple practices such as composting and erosion control are helping to increase yields.
"This is the way our parents used to farm. All the kitchen waste was thrown behind the house where the vegetables were harvested. Everything that we produce, we get from the environment then we give it back to the environment," Kankonko said.