“How is it possible that such a valid system has not long been adopted and diffused?”
It is however important to reflect on the following points and understand that the FAO, the IFAD, the other international organizations, the Cooperation of various countries, the NGO and every organism involved in Development Assistance, have always thought that:
- the local populations should benefit from the aid of donating countries
- these same populations should conduct the fight for the safeguarding of their own lands.
They have never rendered full account of the problem of the weakness of man, generally undernourished, in relation to the acceleration of the negative factors consisting of:
- population growth
- climatic change
- the consequences these may have on the resources of the semi-arid and arid zones of the entire Planet.
Vivaio piantineA serious technical error must be added to this. Under the illusion of being able to accelerate the creation of forests and increase the rooting and the survival of plants, the creation of plant nurseries has been promoted. The seeds of the plants destined to fight against desertification have been placed in “improved soils”, with the addition of manure and nutritional substances and in plastic bags. The seedlings have been protected from the wind, irrigated and treated. In this way the root system of the plant inserted in an environment which has been too “improved” and therefore distant from that where it is destined to grow, has been irreparably compromised and during the transplanting its most important function, that of taproot, has been lost.
In these inhospitable and arid zones, mutilated plants with superficial and twisted roots, with a high disproportion between root stock and aerial part, have been planted into the ground. They have been exposed to sun or cold and frequently have been irrigated with ground water in the deserts or in the mountain sides with the illusion that they would have become able to live and fight the adversities of nature…
The ineffectiveness of this method is before the eyes of everyone and desertification is advancing.
Since the superiority of natural forests and the root system of plants from direct seeding compared to plants transplanted from nurseries is undisputed, we propose to allocate part of the nurseries that would remain idle through the generalized application of VS, to the very important function of areas of seed propagation of the best perennials, shrubs or trees intended to:
- combat desertification
- capture CO²
- preserv local biodiversity
- improve and maintain pasture.
This important new direction is intended to enable qualified engineers to choose the best plants of different species to propagate and maintain, absolutely avoiding any reduction of natural biodiversity.
Part of the nurseries could also specialize in the production of flowering plants or for ornamental trees to beautify streets, roads, parks and urban gardens.
We do not want to give a simplistic and overly optimistic message as even the VS can not be successful without following its full and proper implementation.
Working the soil properly with the plows, carrying out all the additional requests, and providing continuity to the intervention through the involvment and responsibility of the local people are all essential part of the project.
Partial and limited in time application of VS, have produced disappointing results far below its potential. This causes serious image damage for the VS and consequently for the contribution that it can give in the fight against desertification.
For partial application we intend for example a project in which only the plowing and not also the sowing are provided. Undoubtedly there is a temporary improvement thanks to the water collection and the production of pasture, but this improvement is exhausted in a few years.
The project interventions have a specific time frame of usually 3-5 years. After this term the equipment is usually abandoned although its potential use is mutch longer. It would be important to foresee that the equipment may then be transferred to another project or local partner who has or recieves through the project the technical and economic resources to continue to use it (possibly contemplating this item in the project).
It is becoming increasingly clear on all levels that it would require greater coordination between organizations working in the same area to maximize all efforts in a “project of global aid”.