Many modern innovative solutions use technology to solve problems. In developing countries such as Zambia, we often either do not have the same problems or the infrastructure and/or funds for high-tech solutions which are available.
At the same time, there are many simple but clever low technology solutions out there that could make a significant difference if properly adjusted to the circumstances and well disseminated.
Too many good, innovative ideas don’t ever manage to break through in society as new common practice be it for cooking, gardening, nutrition, cooling, etcetera.
Our definition of a “low-tech innovation” is: a solution to a problem or challenge that can be realized with very little, locally available resources and “local implementing know- how”. We will, resources permitting, constantly monitor so called low tech innoivations and look for local problems and challenges that may be solved with low-tech innovations.
The priority is on implementation and dissemination. This includes a wide array of variables that need to be considered within a project. From material availability to perception of the situation to social norms and barriers.
Azolla & Duckweed as Chicken feed supplements
Azolla is an aquatic fern that has a high content in proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B12, Beta Carotene), growth promoter intermediaries and minerals.
Duckweed is also an aquatic fern with a fiber content of 5 to 15%, a crude protein content of 35 to 43%, and a polyunsaturated fat content of about 5%., that works well on almost every site.
One of the major challenges faced by Zambian poultry farmers, apart from diseases, is the high cost of stock feeds.
Current stock feeds on the market are not only costly to buy but also just as costly to produce, especially on a large scale. This has forced local small scale farmers to look for other alternatives to supplement their feeds. Azolla and Duckweed have proved to be one of these alternatives.
Composting for chickens and soil nutrition
Building an A-frame chicken coop.
Village chicks at 2 weeks old
A compost heap is a heap of decayed organic material that is often used as a fertilizer for growing plants. When the components of the compost are a mixture of grass, wood, cardboard and leftover edibles, there is an accumulation of a variety of insects underneath. Chickens love going to scratch around these heaps to feed on the insects and leftover edibles. If the components of the compost are controlled, it can prove to be a nutritious and fun activity and source of extra food for the chickens.