垂直農場-麻袋農法

Alice Atieno

垂直農場-麻袋農法

在肯亞首都奈落比外圍,雜亂擁擠的基貝拉(Kibera)貧民窟,Alice Atieno和這裡近100萬的居民一樣,住在簡陋、隨意搭建的小棚屋中。
特別的是,Atieno的家門口擺著一袋一袋的麻袋,裡頭種著一株株綠色葉菜。身為六個孩子的母親,這些甘藍是他們賴以為生的重要食糧。
NAIROBI, Aug 9 2013 (IPS) - Tucked deep in Kenya’s sprawling Kibera slum is the shanty that Alice Atieno calls home. It is just one among many small, badly-lit shacks built close together in this crowded slum where an estimated one million people live on about 400 hectares.

But right on her doorstep stalks of green leafy vegetables grow in soil-filled sacks. For the mother of six, these kale plants are the source of her livelihood.
孩子們深知玩耍時絕對不可以踢到這些蔬菜。「我用裝滿土的布袋種菜,大多是甘藍、菠菜、甜椒和蔥。」Atieno說。這就是貧民窟的都會農業型態。
Her children have learnt to go about their play without knocking the plants over. “Children in the slum understand hunger, they stay clear of the plants. They know that it’s where their food comes from,” Atieno tells IPS.

This is urban farming for slum dwellers. “I grow seedlings in sacks filled with soil. I usually grow vegetables like kales, spinach, sweet pepper and spring onions,” Atieno says.
Map Kibera Trust是協助基貝拉貧民窟居民參與政策制定的非政府組織,提供居民政策的相關資訊。Map Kibera Trust指出,「麻布袋種植法」讓每戶家庭每周收入增加5美元,或是增加2至3頓的飽餐。「這對於每月平均家庭收入才50至100元的居民們來說,已是非常顯著的進步。」經濟學家Arthur Kimani說。
肯亞農業研究所的統計報告指出,肯亞的4000萬人口中,超過1000萬人有糧食安全問題,必須倚靠糧食救濟過活。對這些人來說,布袋農業提供非常實質的幫助。
According to Map Kibera Trust, a non-governmental organisation that seeks to improve the participation of Kiberan residents in policy processes by providing them with information, sack farming increases weekly household income by at least five dollars and can produce two or three meals per week.


“This is significant since the average household earns between 50 and 100 dollars per month,” economist Arthur Kimani tells IPS.

Statistics from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute show that more than 10 million of this East African nation’s total population of 40 million are food-insecure – the majority of whom live on food relief. For these, sack farming is proving to be a much-needed solution.

Kiama Njoroge, an agricultural extension officer in Central Kenya, says that sack farming is healthy and costs little, since the materials are readily available and the low-labour way of producing wholesome foods is simple.

“Foods grown in a sack are also free of chemicals,” he tells IPS.



Peris Muriuki, a sack farmer, agrees. “One sack costs about 12 cents, some farmers buy the soil for close to a dollar but most of us just collect it from where we live. Stones are readily available, on the roads, and can even [be found on] construction sites,” Muriuki tells IPS.

Courtney Gallaher is an assistant professor at Michigan State University researching food systems and sustainable agriculture. Her research on urban agriculture in Kibera reveals that “most households in Kibera spend 50 to 75 percent of their total income on food. Sack farming can generate about 20 to 30 dollars in revenue per month for farmers that sell some of their vegetables, excluding water expenses.”

“Urban slum areas have become notorious for sewer farming, placing unsuspecting consumers at great risk for diseases such as cholera, amoeba, typhoid and even cancer,” Patrick Mutua, a public health expert with the Ministry of Health tells IPS.

According to the Ministry of Health, Kenya’s under-five mortality rate is about 77 deaths per 1,000 live births. In local urban slums, however, it is 151 per 1,000 live births. Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of these deaths.

“The sewers that these farmers use comes from industries and contain heavy metals such as lead and mercury, placing consumers at risk of cancer and kidney failure,” Patricia Mwangi, another public health expert, tells IPS.

“Not only does exposure to lead interfere with the development of the nervous system, it can also lead to permanent learning and behaviour disorders,” Mwangi says.

But unsuspecting Kenyans have been consuming foods rich in such heavy metals. Some of these foods have been grown by Kibera resident Fenice Oyiela.

Showing great tolerance for the stinging stench of open sewers, and oblivious to the health implications, Oyiela uses her bare hands to direct sewer water through the narrow troughs she has dug in her land.

Oyiela, who has been growing vegetables such as kale, African amaranth and arrowroot at a sewer line adjacent to the Kiberana slums, says that her market base is overwhelming.

“There are days I sell up to 10 bags of vegetables. Lorries collect them from me to take to Nairobi’s leading food markets such as Marikiti, Gikomba and Muthurwa,” Oyiela tells IPS.

The Ministry of Agriculture statistics for 2010 show that of the 30 percent of Nairobi residents engaged in urban farming, the majority use sewer water.

Consequently, sack farming is emerging as a solution, especially among those with no land on which to farm.
肯亞中部省的農業部官員Kiama Njoroge說,麻布袋種植法不但符合衛生,成本也低,所需的材料唾手可得,能以很簡單的方式種植出營養的食物。布袋農民Peris Muriuki也說,「一個布袋只要12分錢,有些農夫花大約1元買土壤,不過我們大多數人都是從附近地上挖土。石頭到處都有,路上和工地都能撿到。」

密西根大學助教Courtney Gallaher主要研究食物系統和永續農業,他針對基貝拉都會農業進行的研究顯示,「基貝拉的家庭絕大多數有50%至70%的總收入花費在食物上。排除水的成本,布袋農民若賣出自己部分種植的蔬菜,每個月能創造20至30元的收入。」

擺脫污染農耕


「都會區的貧民窟過去都以污水種植作物,不留心的消費者可能因此染上霍亂、阿米巴、傷寒甚至癌症。」衛生部門的公衛專家Patrick Mutua說。根據衛生局的資料,肯亞五歲以下兒童死亡率為每1000個新生兒就有77個死亡,都會貧民窟則是151‰ 。腹瀉是其中一個主要死因。

「貧民窟農民用含有鉛和汞等重金屬的工業廢水種植作物,可能引起癌症和腎功能衰竭。」另一位公衛專家Patricia Mwangi說,「暴露於鉛可能影響神經系統發育,也可能造成永久性的學習和行為障礙。」不過很多肯亞民眾已不經意吃下重金屬物質。

農民Fenice Oyiela對於露天下水道的惡臭污水展現驚人的忍耐力,他無視污水對健康的影響,直接用雙手從他自己挖的引水道中取污水來用。Oyiela在基貝拉貧民窟旁的一條污水管線上種植羽衣甘藍、非洲莧菜和葛粉。他說他的生意已經好到讓他忙不過來,「有時一天可以賣出10袋蔬菜。貨車把這些蔬菜運到奈洛比的頂級超市販賣。」

據農業部統計,2010年有30%的奈洛比居民從事都會農業,而且大多數用的是污水。因此,布袋農業可說是個衛生的解決方案,對那些沒有土地可務農的人們來說尤其重要。

※ 編註:麻布袋種植法(sack farming),在國外也視為都市農耕「垂直農場」(vertical farm)的實踐。長年推廣樸門永續設計(permaculture)的大地旅人工作室創辦人江慧儀認為,這種種植法不用固定的農地,可以任意移動,非常適合都市農耕,類似台灣人常用保利龍等容器種植盆栽。而在非洲一些貧窮地區,因為麻布袋便宜,甚至有些直接使用現成咖啡豆麻布袋,更適合麻布袋種植法。

麻袋農法與養耕共生


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