Transforming the Energy-Food nexus through design and innovation for sustainable food systems in Nairobi across all income levels.

Long description

Through the ages,agricultural waste,food scraps and damaged harvested food discarded to the landfills have become powerful contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.This has translated to wasted energy,which can be used to produce fertilizers through composting.Meanwhile, rapid urbanization has been stretching Nairobi’s food system to its limits due to urban sprawl thus leading to arable land loss of cities.The initiative addresses the Energy-Food Nexus through;

  1. Biologically decomposing the aforementioned organic waste to produce nutrient rich growing medium that can support crop production.
  2. Designing and fabricating vertical farming systems.This is a space-intensive farming technology that provides year-round growing of leafy green crops to boost urban local food yields hence reducing fossil-fuel emissions related to food transportation.

Vertical farming is a concept of building farms in cities by growing food in multilayer levels on vertical axis using plastic tubes and designed to occupy square foot space.It entails collection of organic wastes which are composted to form nutrient rich-growing medium to be used for planting.Secondly,the plastic tubes are fabricated into designs e.g A-frames/Single frames/Hanging gardens customized for urban households to be set up in roof tops,balconies or backyards.Upon installation,the systems are integrated with pheromone-baited traps that monitor and prevent pests/diseases.Optionally, a solar-powered automatic irrigation system can be incorporated to facilitate irrigation and control of the farm remotely.In this way, vertical farming not only grows food but also develops sustainable solutions for better energy and waste use.The current stage of development is the Diffusion and implementation stage.

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