Thursday, June 1, 2017

Disaster kits for farmers proposed

Manish Razaida, a researcher at the University of Guelph, thinks disaster kits for farming families would be a great idea for international relief organizations.

The kits, which would cost about $40 each, would contain seeds, tools and other items which would enable the families to rebuild their lives.

Razaida writes in a research paper published in the journal Agriculture and Food Security that urban areas are usually the focus of disaster relief efforts, but in many developing nations a high percentage of the population is rural – in some cases up to 95 per cent.

The kits would include plastic sheeting that could start as shelter or ground cover for crops, then to hold the harvest.

He and one of his graduate students,Tejendra Chapagain, say the kits could be stockpiled by agencies such as the United Nations or the Red Cross, ready for distribution in the wake of a disaster.

He and his team have first-hand experience after responding to the earthquake in Nepal in 2015.

Razaida is also famous for lobbying fellow scientists and research institutions to forego patents on their discoveries, instead making them freely available to others so they can continue to make advances.

There is a global network now of researchers who feel that agriculture and health are essentials that ought not to be patented.