Jatropha hedges with Aubergines

Food and Fuel farming

Jatropha hedges with Aubergines

Aubergines planted between young Jatropha hedges

At Bionic Palm we are great fans of agro forestry systems combining food and fuel crops with the utmost diversity economically feasible. We actually have a hard time to understand why mono-cropping systems are still labeled “organic” or even “sustainable”.

Mixed cropping systems have endless advantages and with the right basic lay out (avenue or double avenue planting) they can be a very profitable concept for highly mechanized commercial farming operations, especially when no-till-farming techniques are used. Even more, combining a mixed crop agro forestry system with no-till farming and bio-char amendments to the soil will provide a superb opportunity of building up or increasing top soil (terra preta) instead of following the standard agric industry approach which is reducing fertile top soils around the world by a few percentage points every decade. Stopping and reversing the destruction of top soil is essential for health, environmental and climate reasons. The constantly ongoing destruction of soil is responsible for an ever increasing requirement of  artificial fertilizer need to just barely maintain yields. However, at a rising cost the end costumer has to shoulder while the agric input conglomerates are getting fat and fatter.

The active search for simple solutions to above issues is part of the innovative agronomic concepts Bionic Palm set out to develop for tropical Africa.

And why do we firmly confront all the honorable NGOs with our “FOOD AND FUEL” label? Well, as we reside in West Africa full time, we can only say, permanent elimination of poverty requires both: a nutritious meal and enough energy to read a book and communicate. Those from the developed world who want to deny the population of developing countries the latter while using electricity, transportation, heat & a/c at home every day should definitely have another look at their values. Especially if they call themselves charitable or come on holidays to Africa…

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