NUTRIENT BASED IRRIGATION FOR HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY

About Solution

The problem statement 
The global population growth rate is so high and is estimated to reach 8.5 billion individuals  by 2030. Food production is largely declining due to climate change with greater incidences of drought conditions,  arable lands are being turned into places for cities, settlements and animal farms,  no much land is being left for Crop farming. This has placed Uganda on the 105th position according to the 2018 Global Hunger Index analysis and thus being described as having a serious problem of hunger. Serious measures must be adopted into agriculture value chains to check on the problem immediately to increase food supply for sustaining the growing population before the situation goes out of hand. 

Our Idea

This idea intends to boost crop production through encouraging a nutrient based irrigation mechanism which will ensure food security all the year around, a step towards achieving the second goal of united Nations' Sustainable Development Goals; Zero Hunger. 
We believe that with increased crop yields,  more of the produce will be available for sale and thus help in fighting poverty at both household and national level. High yields will generate more revenue to support Education of children, reducing illiteracy and quality education will ensure quality living standards,  good health and well-being.
Solution 
The main focus of this project is to increase crop productivity in Uganda and world over and ensure food security through turning wastelands into arable lands and reducing expenditure on inorganic fertilizers which are harmful to the soil living organisms if used excessively.
Initially, drip irrigation mechanism will be employed whereby the water used will in actual sense be full of nutrients that will be available for crop growth.

Most nutrients required for plant growth are water soluble. The project intends to obtain sources of manure like animal dung, pack it in the sack and the sack be suspended in a tank containing water. Of course, leaching of the nutrients will occur bit in this case,  they will be getting into the water which will be used to fill containers used in drip irrigation and made available to plants. Water soluble nutrients  like nitrogen in form of nitrates, phosphorus in form of phosphates and potassium in form of potassium ions are very vital for plant growth and are abundantly found in the  animal waste like cow dung.
Instead of simply irrigating crops without supplying nutrients, this innovation should be adopted to boost crop productivity and easily substitute use of artificial fertilizers which are usually costly to local farmers. 

Business model 
This project is still at idea stage but will build a strong organizational structure to fully manage the business operations. We will be obtaining income from the sales of our products. The marketing strategy includes use of social media for publicity and exhibition on trade fares.  
Financing and scaling up 
We hope to get our initial funding for the implementation of our idea into a product from Mohammed Bin Rashid Initiative Global Prosperity. Our project will be open to all other partners and stakeholders who find it of importance to support us until when our project becomes self sustainable.  
The project will be scaled up through establishment of other working centres in other parts of the country, Uganda and obtaining more manure to produce more nutrient solution to apply on vast pieces of land. 
Target population 
Our idea targets all people in communities and cities where land is inadequate to carry out sustainable agriculture for a given population. At first, we intend to demonstrate this project to students at High Schools and colleges who will be our ambassadors of social change. We will plan to give more priority to women and children  during our sensization sessions because it's them that are greatly involved in producing food for families where as men do other activities.
The need for food supply is enormous from individual to global level and therefore this will facilitate production of greater yields that will sustain those populations in cities and confined communities. In rural areas, this idea can be taken up to produce more food for sale to those in towns and thus boosting their social economic development.  
Market Size
Our idea initially encourages the improvement in productivity of seasonal food crops. These have a greater market every where. At community level, the market size is estimated to reach 800,000 people in our constituency but further scaling up of the project will broaden the impact to a greater population either to national or regional and international levels since hunger is a worldwide challenge.  
Competitive advantage  
This project is 100% eco-friendly through use of organic waste from animals and plant remains, it is affordable in terms of cost, maintenance and application which requires no much technical-know-how and can easily be adopted by the local farmers.
The project can also be used in cities to obtain higher produce on a small piece of land and thus sustaining the population in the cities. This forms part of our strength in business in addition to having a very innovative players with the required agriPreneurship skills. 
Future goals
We hope to establish a strong advocacy campaign strategy to support local farmers to adopt this sustainable agriculture method, use various media to boost marketing of their harvested produce so that the they can reach the international market. 
The campaign will further give more information to the farmers on post harvest handling techniques to reduce on loss of value of the produce kept under poor conditions. This will be in form of sensitization to communities and groups of individuals.


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