SWFF Program & Innovator News
 Nov 25, 2019
How to Grow Food in Land People Think is Useless   

For 27 years, Nazmul Islam Chowdhury has worked with the international agency Practical Action. During the course of his work, he came upon an innovative way to grow crops on sandbars left after Bangladesh's monsoon flooding. It became known as "Pumpkins Against Poverty" and provided poor farmers an essential crop on land that previously was thought useless. This not only provided an important food source but also gave farmers, mostly women, the ability to pay for school for their children with money left from what was not sold at market and even to acquire modest transportation, such as a motorbike. Kristin Marquet of Authority Magazine talks with Chowdhury as part of her continuing series know as "Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years."
Kristin Marquet (KM): Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Read More

  • An Impact Story: Results in Plain Sight. Cassy Rodriguez of The Kaizen Company shares several success stories from the Securing Water for Food program, the combination of which speaks to the program's impact. From increased crop yields to improved standards of living, the innovators in this program asked the "what if" questions. Read this uplifting story here.
  • Green Heat is Recognized by a Belgium Development Organization. Green Heat recently was awarded grant funds by Enabel, a Belgium development group, to install renewable energy interventions in teacher training colleges and institutions in Uganda. The Innovator will be installing its ground-breaking biodigesters in numerous educational facilities for the next six months.
  • ICU Peru Bestowed the Connect to Grow Award. In October, ICU Peru was nominated as a finalist in the "Connect to Grow" awards sponsored by the Telefonica Foundation, a Spanish telecommunications company based in Peru. This week ICU Peru was chosen as the winner of the Environment category, receiving the award from the Peruvian Minister of the Environment for their work in the Majes Arequipa. Learn more about ICU Peru's SWFF work here.
  • Water Governance Institute Promotes Economic Inclusion for Refugees. There are about 1.4 million refugees in Uganda, most of whom have fled political conflicts in nearby countries. These refugees have a limited diet consisting of corn, beans and rice. Well, until Henry Mugisha of Water Governance Institute (WGI), took an interest in finding a way to feed them. Mugisha's solution was aquaponics, a system that combines raising fish and plants in a symbiotic environment. As Henry Mugisha says, "If one can raise guppies in an aquarium, it is logical one can produce catfish and tilapia for dinner tables across Uganda." Read the full story   here .
  • Aquaponics Becomes Part of Uganda's National Curriculum. Dr. Aisha Nalwoga, of Water Governance Institute, was invited to be part of Uganda's curriculum development program for "Transforming Agriculture and Developing Employability Skills Among Youth". This program was a joint venture between the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries and the National Council for Higher Education.The result...The Water Governance Institute's Aquaponics innovation became part of the national curriculum for ATVETI (Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions).
  • Government of Ghana To Honor SkyFox. SkyFox has been selected to receive Ghana's Best Regional Fish Farmer Award. In the Volta region of Ghana, where SkyFox's largest farm is located, farmers inhabiting hilly drylands have no access to suitable wetlands nor the capital to create an infrastructure for fish production. SkyFox's innovation of top-of-the-hill aquaculture ponds producing nutrient rich water for both fish production and crop irrigation solved a critical economic issue for the Ghana farming community.
  • aQysta Wins Two Awards. SWFF Innovator aQysta recently won the "Get in the Ring: Startup Nexus" competition at the Netherlands-India Technology Summit in October. The competition consisted of three categories; Agriculture, Water and Healthcare. aQysta was announced the winner of the agriculture category after an idea-pitching battle with an Indian startup. Read the full article here.
  • Dr. Peter Chege Gichuku is Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree. Dr. Peter Gichuku of Hydroponics Africa was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Common Wealthy University in recognition of the Innovator's work since 2015. Hydroponics Africa has trained over 20,000 farmers, installed over 5,000 hydroponics units, and helped 300 refugees in Kakuma, Kenya and 150 families in a Nairobi slum grow their own food, and is now piloting hydroponics in North Darfur, Sudan. By 2023, Hydroponics Africa will have saved over a half billion liters of water, help grow over 8,000 tons of food, and reduce land use by 40%.
  • SkyFox to Partner with Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme. SkyFox is partnering with Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) to provide support to specific value chain clusters to address the challenges of their development. This will be done through capacity building and other support to those in the cluster, including farmers through their farmer-based organizations; service and input providers to farmers (including financial services); and Equipment Service Providers (ESPs).
  • Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Innovator Guidebook Wins. The WE4F Innovator Guidebook: Navigating Business Models for the Base of the Pyramid in Water and Energy for Food ( view Guidebook) was unveiled on October 23rd at the Social Capital markets (SOCAP) event in San Francisco. This practical handbook for innovators in emerging markets recently won the 2019 MarCom Gold Award in Print Media for its precision in layout and design, visual creativity and brand implementation.
  • Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge - Asia EDGE. The Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge Asia EDGE Ag-Energy Prize seeks business owners and entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia with game-changing innovations operating at the nexus of sustainable, renewable energy, and agriculture. The prize competition will (a) identify promising, worthwhile innovators at the nexus of sustainable, renewable energy and agriculture; (b) explore market activity about the nature, progress, and scale of small and growing enterprises in the region; and (c) improve awareness of WE4F and Asia EDGE development initiatives among the business community. Finalists and winners will receive cash prizes in addition to recognition on the WE4F website and communications materials, and an opportunity to participate in a co-creation workshop, and acceleration services for their enterprise. Interested parties should visit the WE4F website on December 4th to apply for the prize.
  • Job Opportunity - M&E Specialist With USAID. USAID and the Government of Sweden are seeking a M&E Specialist for their joint program, the Water and Energy for Food (WE4F). Those interested should review the job description and requirements by visiting the job posting here.
  • Job Opportunity - Knowledge Management and Communications Coordinator With USAID. USAID and the Government of Sweden are seeking a Knowledge Management and Communications Coordinator for their joint program, the Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) program. Those interested should review the job description and requirements by visiting the job posting here.
1001 Words

Empowering Africans Through Revolutionary Energy & Waste Solutions.  

Green Heat International SST Biogas Digesters are providing Africans with water independence, reducing water needs by 80% - Not to mention tackling waste management and the provision of biofuel. Green Heat also empowers women through the lease of charring kilns to women farmer groups and employing females sales representatives.