Dear Editor,

Let’s go straight to the meat of the matter and try to separate fact from fiction.

1. Guyana’s coastline is below sea level: The sea did not rise and cover the land. The rains fell and the water was not able to flow into the sea fast enough due to silting, and hence the flood.

2. Move to higher ground: That is an option provided the farmer is willing to live off the leaves of the trees in the forest. Contrary to popular belief, Guyana does not have fertile soil; behind the mudflats of the coastal region lies a belt of white sand and laterite. Laterite is that red rust loam that they use to build dirt roads; it contains some iron, aluminum and a few other minerals, but otherwise is poor in plant nutrients.

3. Bring in the Dutch to solve the problem: The Dutch are world renowned for building massive dikes and gateways to keep the sea out from flooding their country. These are high-tech systems and cost billions of dollars. Even so, they have started to build their houses on floating pontoons. The Dutch will not just walk in and say we are here to solve your problem, poor starving brother. They will come with a proposal and a price tag of millions of dollars.

This problem can be solved with the resources we have and Ventiver and lemon grass.

We have got to change over to no-till farming and cultivation; it is simple and requires less work. You Tube is filled with no-till farming practices. The administration needs to get a laptop, a portable projector and a canvas screen and go out to the various communities and show these videos to the farmers.

There are even You Tube videos of the great Japanese agroecological master, Mr Masanobu Fukuoka, demonstrating his technique. He calls his system “No work Farming,” meaning, do not do any work that is not necessary. As an example he said that farmers have been planting rice in flooded fields for so long, that they no longer know why they are doing it. He said it was done to prevent weeds from growing. He demonstrates his technique of making rice paddy balls and throwing them right on top of his field ground covering of clover.

He has not tilled his field in 25 years, he uses no fertilizer except some chicken poop and rice straw, and he uses no pesticides.

4. Ethanol: I never believed in it as a solution to our energy crisis; some of the largest ethanol companies in America are now going bankrupt, even though they were heavily subsidized.

There is a new process being tried out right now, called Thermal Depolariza-tion. It grinds up all kinds of waste matter including sewage sludge, and converts it into oil and coal tar; the waste byproduct is water. Now that’s interesting.

There are many videos of no-till farming on You Tube and one of the TDP process.

Yours faithfully,
Joe Coxall

Comment extracted from

Stabroek News

Around the Web