• Simple agricultural innovation to empower farmers

    Giovanni Ortolani, Paola Di Bella

Agriculture sustains the lives of millions in the global South both in terms of nutrition and income, but changing rainfall patterns and poor storage can severely cut productivity. Simple innovation can help farmers grow healthier crops and store their produce for longer. But for an invention to work, it has to be affordable and integrate smoothly into farmers’ existing workflow.
The field lab of Kasetsart University’s Bangkhen Campus in Bangkok, Thailand, serves as a training hub in agricultural practices for students, researchers, development workers and entrepreneurs. The centre also exhibits some cheap technologies designed to improve food security and boost farmers’ income.
In this audio slideshow, we cast a critical eye over some of them: a store room cooling system to retain the freshness of produce and reduce waste, a chimney solar dryer to dry and preserve fresh produce; and a solar-powered drip irrigation system.