|GATE - 1/97 - Eco-label: Organic Cotton (GTZ GATE, 1997, 52 p.)|
by Roland Seifert
Taking as its motto "From the neem tree to microturbines", the GATE "Small-scale Project Funds" project celebrated its 10th anniversary with an exhibition at GTZ in Eschborn near Frankfurt. Because the exhibition was so well received, it was subsequently re-staged in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Bonn.
The "10 Years Small-scale Project Fund" exhibition was received with great interest at the BMZ just as at GTZ in November last year. Between February 18 to 28, employees from the Ministry and the Federal Parliament were able to make their own impression of the Fund's activities from a representable cross-section of the project. BMZ Minister Carl-Dieter Spranger was one of the first of many visitors to make use of the opportunity to be thoroughly informed about the projects presented.
Five projects were presented on the display boards; the reproduction of a raisin dryer demonstrated a simple technical solution, as used in Argentina. A stand dedicated TO the neem tree provided information about this versatile medicinal plant which has been used for decades: the leaves and the seeds of the fruit have antiviral, antibacterial and insecticidal properties.
Simple water extracts from ground seeds, for example, are very effective against pests on vegetables and ornamental plants. A good reason why the Smallscale Project Fund has already supported four neem-related projects.
Since 1986, around 250 very different AT projects have been able to profit from GATE's Smallscale Project Fund (KPF). Coworkers of the German Development Service (DED) have been closely involved in many projects: for instance fish breeders in Sologo (Ivory Coast), were assisted to construct and operate fish ponds; in India, an industrial kitchen was supplied with solargenerated steam using project funds, while new well-boring technology was tested with KPF money in Brazil.
Money and technical know-how
The rationale behind the KPF project was that self-help processes very often grind to a halt when local initiatives are unable to overcome small, but crucial technological problems by themselves. As a rule, they lack the necessary financial resources and know-how to do so.
The Small-Scale Project Fund attempts to close this gap with a customised service. It provides self-help groups with money for testing and implementing small innovations and informs them of possible technological options as well as experience made elsewhere with certain technologies.
The KPF works very closely with the GATE "lnformation and Advisory Service on Appropriate Technology" (ISAT) in disseminating the acquired knowhow. ISAT evaluates the results of the measures and makes them available to a wide circle of interested people. The funds address targeted individual measures requiring a low input and allowing solutions to be found for isolated problems within one to two years at most. Support is given only to non-profit making organisations and institutes in emerging nations which carry out the planned measures independently and should already have some experience in the field.
Neem - a versatile plant
In Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic, FAMA (Fundacigricultura y Medico Ambiente), a nonprofit making foundation, is working to improve the ecology in problematic areas and holds regular training sessions on environmental conservation for smallholders. Farmers from the town of villa Fundacind Ganadera in Azua province are enjoying financial assistance from the Small-scale Project Fund and advisory services on setting up two processing and commercial centres for neem products. Neem trees are to be planted for fruit production, training sessions held on harvesting and processing the seeds and tests carried out on using neem extracts in pest control in market gardening.
80 of the 400 families living in Ganadero been able to built up a source of extra income thanks to project assistance. Each family is responsible for tending 5 trees, harvesting and proceasing the seedsand then selling the produce at the local market. Neem has now become a widely-used, popular insecticide in the region. The main harvest period, between the months of July to October, make it an- attractive prospect for women and young people especially, as the harvest period falls during the school vacation and they can now earn up to 3,000 pesos additional income in a month.
In Villa Fundaci300 people have formed an agricultural association, the San Juan Bautista. The Organisation Federacie Campesinos Banilejos (FEDABA) supported them in constructing a warehouse and installing an electrical mill. The warehouse has a capacity of up to 5 tonnes, but, at present, only 600 kg of neem seeds are stored there. Over the course of time, the San Juan Bautista association has been able to raise its earning to 15,000 pesos per month by selling seeds and self-produced neem soap. Today, this money is managed as a fund by the group itself and used to buy and sell seeds and other neem products.
Motor pumps and wells to counteract droughts
In north-east Brazil, people's lives are ruled by drought. The people of Santa Rita in the district of Petrolandia are directly affected and wanted to install a motor pump to be able to channel water from the nearby river to irrigate their fields. The Small-scale Project Fund supplied farmers with money to purchase a motor pump, bricks and cement. They built the irrigation channels by themselves within a few months. Since then, eight families have each been able to irrigate their fields two to three times a week. The farmers have to pay the electricity costs for the pump, but they don't consider this to be a problem.
The Small-scale Project Fund has also financed a drawing well in Brejo do Burgo in the Gloria district. Because of the rocky subsoil, the driven well technique was used, a new method in the region. A small iron plate is welded to the inside of a c. 15 cm dia.,1.5 m long iron pipe and protrudes at 1.5 cm from the end of the pipe. A metal ring with a traction rope is attached to the other end of the pipe. This rope is pulled several meters high and then dropped. The protruding iron plate hits the rock like an axe.
Using this simple technique, the farmers, with the help of a small company, bored their well 75 m into the ground. In addition the their work input, the farmers also raised US $ 110 cash for the well. 250 animals are now watered there. The driven well technology set a precedent, as the hammer pipe is easy to manufacture and the technology is cheap and efficient. Six months after the well in Brejo do Burgo was finished, a further eleven wells had already been sunk in the area.
Foundry for microturbines
The Foundation for Appropriate Technology (Fundaciare el Desarollo de Tecnologias Apropiadas - FDTA) has been manufacturing Pelton wheels in its foundry works in Villavicencio (Columbia) for more than two years now. The wheels are used in the construction of micro hydropower plants with connected battery-chargers, socalled hidobats. They are a cheap and decentralised electrical energy supply for rural areas.
The works manufactures two turbine models; one for a fall height of 1 - 2 meters (21/ s), and one for a fall height of 12 - 20 meters (up to 20l/s), corresponding to outputs of 40 and 1500 Watts respectively. The Pelton wheels for the turbines are manufactured using lost wax pouring techniques. This is reckoned to be relatively difficult and demanding, but the foundry products are excellent for professional uses.
Up until the end of 1994 when support from the Smallscale Project Fund terminated, the Foundation had constructed and operated a total of 45 installations. The selling price per installation was 485,000 pesos (727 DM), at production costs of 285,000 pesos (427 DM).
Roland Seifert is co-ordinator for the gate magazine.
by Yvonne Mabille
"Kuturaya!" - "Let's try!" has become the war cry of the farmers in Zimbabwe's Masvingo Province. The following example demonstrates how creative potential can be released when the people, extension officers and project workers co-operate with one another.
"Mr. Gumbo's three fields" three small boxes filled with soil each not much bigger than a paper tray - are really nothing more than small, very simple rain simulators: One "field" is ploughed flat, one is mulched, the third has furrows. Heavy rain is simulated by pouring water from the watering can. The water falling on to the normally ploughed area flows unhindered into a measuring beaker from a hole in the upper edge of the tray. On the other two soils however the rain water is retained, it filters into the soil and slowly seeps through to the groundwater.
This simple but very effective model demonstrates the causes and impacts of surface run off. "A model like this make people become aware of processes like soil erosion, run-off and degradation," says JHagmann.
The geographer and hydrologist has been an adviser in the "Conservation Tillage Project" in the Masvingo province of Simbabwe for five years now. "The farmers don't start looking for their own so lutions until they have understood what is happening, and only then can their enormous innovative potential be accessed."
Numerous soil conservation techniques which the farmers used in earlier days have now been forgotten or even decisively rejected by the governmental extension service.
"It is just this knowledge which we want to activate," said JHagmann, "and synthesise it with new findings from research." Participative technology development has been successful in Masvingo. But it was a long path1. The "Con Till" began in 1988 as a classical, technical, research-oriented development project in the governmental agricultural extension service in Zimbabwe. The aim was to improve research management by developing erosion prevention techniques for small farmers at research stations located on two ecologically different sites.
Two years after German-Zimbabwean cooperation commenced it was decided to extend purely scientific work in the research stations and include trials on farmers field. This is when the concepts' deficits really became apparent. "When we began doing trials on farmers" fields in 1991," recalls Hagmann, "it became clear, when working closely with the farmers, that the conventional model of technology transfer - where research developed the methods, for example, to conserve soil and these are subsequently transferred by the extension service to the farmers, who adopt them - would not work in this case."
Not only was there a ration of just one extension officer to 1000 farmers. The communication between a farming and extension levels simply did not work. The extension workers learn scientific knowledge during their training which does not immediately relate to the life situation of farmers whose knowledge is based on experience.
The extension service had spent its time teaching to three generations of farmers that their traditional knowledge, their entire farming experience was outdated and valueless, with the consequence that most farmers could not be motivated to carry out trials themselves.
This situation changed when "learning tools" were introduced. They played a central role throughout the project because they focussed on learning and not on teaching2. Hagmann: "Teaching soil and water conservation technologies without understanding the underlying processes does not encourage flexible adaptation of technologies by the users."
Learning means learning through action, by doing, seeing and experimenting. The "teachers" become "facilitators" for sharing knowledge. Instead of recommending that farmers just copy a technology developed somewhere else by someone else they now brought in their own ideas, became co-deciders as to what should be tested and further developed.
Another impulse for farmer experiments came from a workshop of farmers, field extension officers and scientists in the project's fifth implementation year which utilised elements of Freire's liberation pedagogics. The farmers really locked into the matter.
But to avoid the danger that very innovative farmers could become isolated, activities were transferred to the community level. The idea was that new technologies could only impact on a broad scale if technical innovations were joined by social ones.
"Kuturaya!" - "Let's try!" became the project's battle cry. One half of a field was cropped using conventional techniques while new ideas were given priority on the other half. The conclusions drawn by farmers are often quiet different to those drawn by scientists and the extension service.
An example: contour ridges
Propagated as an erosion protection measure in the 60ies they were originally designed to allow water to run off the field. In view of the experiences made in the project, however, farmers wanted to try to retain the water.
Finally it was used in the field. "They just turned the ridge upside down so that the water was kept behind it. Any overflow runs into the ditches where it can still seep into the soil or slowly run off."
The first time project staff saw the upside down contour ridge they brought it to the attention of the government extension service, but they for their part saw little chance of it being copied: It entails far to much work. But the extension service was wrong! Within one year farmers had dug more than 200 kilometres of the new type of ridge without any outside help.
And what's more: "To our astonishment more than 200 people appeared on the field one day without the project or the government extension service knowing anything about it." The farmers had started organising their own field days and had invited neighbouring communities.
Over the next two years farmers became increasingly confident of their own powers. They regularly exchange experiments and experiences in workshops. This also has its problematic side for staff of the Zimbabwean government extension service.
The great importance given to experience-based knowledge in project work meant a loss of authority for the extension officers. Their advantage of having schoolbased, formal knowledge is increasingly dwindling. The aim now is not to teach soil and water conservation but to create a forum where people can learn for themselves.
Thanks to a large portion of diplomacy and sensitivity the project has in the final instance been able to bring extension officers, farmers and scientists to cooperate with each other. Several new tilling methods are being worked out and tested, new implements are being developed.
When numerous oxen died during the 1992 drought, for example, donkeys took over as the main draught animal. Together with the project the farmers developed a traction implement for them.
"We were the mediators between the farmers and the workshop floor," said Hagmann. "There was a permanent coming and going between field tests and modifications in the workshop, until the farmers finally said - the tool now does exactly what we want." It could be produced at low cost, and within two years more than 500 of the light traction implements had been purchased at non-subsidised prices.
Several steps forward
Within two years, some 80 percent of the households had participated in soil or water conservation practices of some type. From "cropping to organisational consultancy" was how staff describe the path taken by the development concept.
Process consultancy has replaced sector advisory services. To do this, people at all levels - the farmers, the field extension officers, the senior officials in the extension services and also the project consultants - have to make several steps forward.
The success of the concept confirms its relevance: selfconfident farmers are analysing their own environment and looking after their own land. They are beginning to experiment. "Numerous technologies have been created which were developed jointly with ideas from farmers, from research and the extension service. They have been synthesised and the result is that now several options are open."
For information contact:
Talstr. 129 79194
Tel: +49 761-54 762
Fax: +49 761-54 775
1A detailed description of this exciting process is to be published early 1997: Hagmann, J./Chuma, E./Murwira, K: "Kuturaya: A new Approach to Participatory Research, Innovation and Extension", in: Van Veldhuizen, L./Waters-Bayer, A./Ramirez, R./Johnson, D./ Thompson, J. (Ed.): Farmer's Research in Practice: Lessons from the Field, London: I TPublications.
2The"Con Till Project" was awarded a prize for its effective learning materials at a Dare-to-Share Fair last year. GTZ organised the Dare-to-Share Fair parallel to the 9th Conference of the International Soil Conservation Organisation (ISCO) where development projects from all continents demonstrated a wide spectrum of participative working methods. GTZ is preparing a documentation on this event.
Yvonne Mabille is a freelance journalist specialising in development policy.
by Holger Liptow
Climate protection must be understood and handled as a cross-sectoral task. This is to say that it needs to be integrated into the sectors energy, transportation, industry, waste management, agriculture and forestry.
Climate protection is everybody's business, because each and everyone of us, each and every family and private household, does things that affect our climate to a greater or lesser degree. Like environmental protection and the conservation of resources, practical climate protection often equates to an exercise in self-restraint.
Like foregoing the fast satisfaction of wants and needs in favor of long-term imperatives; above all else, it means seeking out alternative options (action-pattern variables) that do not consume irretrievable resources. On the other hand, systematic climate protection does not equate to total inactivity.
The only logical consequence is to at least be sparing and efficient in our consumption of irretrievable resources, though it would be better still, of course, to rely more on renewable resources. This would make it easier for the majority to adjust and adapt as necessary, while only a minority would have to radically alter their behavior.
For the purposes of the German Support Programme to Implement the Framework Convention on Climate Change, we have decided to concentrate our efforts on the polluters at the source, especially the consumers of fossil fuel, including motor vehicles. Germany's relevant technical co-operation includes a number of other programmes and projects devoted to the preservation of sinks, most notably in the form of tropical forests.
Back home in Germany after the 1992 Rio Conference, GTZ together with other donor organizations had just begun work on the Environmental Manual, which was not finished until early 1996. That manual is now also available in the form of a computer programme for use in determining the environmental impacts of power generation and distribution, including GHG emissions.
Basic data needed
We soon discovered that national specialists in a surprisingly large number of countries were already drawing up initial inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while others had already begun to study their options for reducing such emissions. This reinforced our inclination to make such options the main thrust of our programme - as a point of departure for rapid assistance in reducing, or at least decelerating the increase of, GHG emissions.
Which activities have we decided on? What did we see as the main objective of our planning and implementing activities? At first, our programme gave rise to certain individual measures, because we were aiming for broad dissemination of information about the assistance Germany has to offer. Thus, those initial measures consisted extensively of inventory studies and country studies on reduction options (Colombia, Pakistan, Zambia, Tanzania).
Once the programme achieved a certain "awareness rating", both within the scope of German Technical Cooperation (TC) and internationally, we were better able to identify approaches with a more sectoral or regional (country-specific) thrust.
In our view, this improves our chances of actually achieving the planned results (pertinent examples including activities in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Zimbabwe).
As a large organization engaged in development cooperation activities in more than 120 countries, we naturally make use of our existing connections to ongoing projects and familiar partners. In addition to providing approaches for enabling activities, this also yields synergistic effects with ongoing German technical cooperation in the energy sector.
For example, in close cooperation with our rationaluse-of-energy specialists, we derived some concrete, practical options for demandside management from a sincecompleted TC project in the Philippines. Similarly, ways of enhancing energy efficiency in industrial facilities and buildings are being pursued via an ongoing TC project in Thailand.
In Zimbabwe, we have integrated the "Reduction Options within the Framework of Southern African Power Pooling" measures into the local GTZ-supported energy programme.
And in Bangalore, India, we are expanding our cooperation with TERI beyond the present energy conservation and efficiency enhancement scope for the local industry to include a climate protection project. In that project, we will explore the available alternatives for environmentally and climatically correct planning and implementation in the fields of transportation and waste management.
Frequently, the final, exact formulation of projects has emerged from intensive dialogue with our partners. In our opinion, such dialogue constitutes the first advisory input on the way to achieving adequate accordance with the international Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Regrettably, there were some requests that we were unable to support, either because they were not in line with the exigencies of the convention or because they were situated too far away from our programme's focal area. International co-ordination of country measures thanks to the initiative of the Climate Change Secretariat, the measures being supported by the various donor organizations have been internationally well coordinated.
Redundancy was effectively avoided, and the limited funds available to the individual donor organizations precluded all competition concerning the "best" projects. On the contrary, every effort was made to round out one's own approaches, one example being our co-operation with the US Country Study Programme in Thailand, Zambia and South Africa and with the AsDB's ALGAS project in Pakistan.
We helped achieve good coordination by informing CC:INFO about our own activities and by actively participating in the CC:FORUM's meetings. This general exchange of views and information led to concrete agreements with various donors most intensively with the US CSP.
Subsidization of the climate secretariat's information activities has made it possible for each and every country to present their climateprotection activities in a uniform manner on the Internet's World Wide Web.
We have designed our advisory, upgrading and on-thejob training activities around both German expertise and the knowledge of specialists from other countries with intensive experience in the field of climate protection in emerging countries. United Nations Colaborating Centre on Energy and Environment in Risp/ Denmark, for example, helped local specialists in Tanzania and Zambia draft a set of reduction options; in doing so, the team showed a depth of commitment that often far exceeded the contractually binding scope.
Arranging South-South cooperation
We also helped arrange direct South-South co-operation. The team from the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Caracas, Venezuela, was a great help to the team in Bogota in preparing an inventory study for Colombia. Together with UCCEE, the Southern Centre of Energy and Environment in Harare, Zimbabwe, provided general support and their own experience to the same Zambian team we were assisting.
What have we actually achieved? Let me give some extremely condensed sampling of results from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania. Our pamphlet entitled "Measures to Prevent
Climate Change" provides information on our programme's results to date and additional data documenting how climate protection is already being built into GTZ's energy projects. And for anyone interested in specific cases, we will be glad to provide copies of studies we have conducted in various partner countries naturally only to the extent that the measures in question have been completed.
Above and beyond the country's already environmentoriented energy planning, there are still other win-win options that could help reduce GHG emissions. In the end-use sector, these would include advanced lighting systems, energy-conserving refrigerating equipment and variable-speed motors. And in the power sector, highly sophisticated options like pressurized fluidised-bed combustion and gas-fueled fuel cells have emerged as additional options for enhancing established technologies.
According to the results of the GTZ-assisted study in the Philippines, there are two options for substantially reducing C02 emissions in the energy sector: by improving the gross heat rate in power generation and by reducing transmission and distribution losses. The use of natural gas, hydropower and geo-thermal energy can further reduce emis signs by significant degrees. With the aid of the aforementioned Environmental Manual we also conducted a pilot project in which the environmental impacts of the entire power-generating sector were investigated and scenarios developed for engaging in least-cost forms of environmental and climate protection.
In Tanzania, the options for reducing GHG emissions are limited more by market and institutional barriers than by any lack of access to appropriate technologies. Indeed, the industry has numerous technological winwin options to offer - like efficient combustion, powerfactor correction and efficient motors. The power sector also has some latitude for contributions toward climate protection, one example being the intensified use of hydropower. Conversely, the large number of people who would have to be involved in measures geared to private households and agriculture would make them difficult to implement.
In most of the surveyed industrial operations and commercial buildings there were identifiable win-win options (that is, options with payback periods of up to 4 years) that would make climate protection attractive and reduce CO2 emissions by seven to ten percent. Now, the decision makers have to be persuaded to make use of the available opportunities. As already mentioned above, the longterm German technical cooperation project aims to followup and to help achieve that goal.
We all use energy to heat and light our homes, cook our meals, power our appliances and we are expending more and more energy - trends increasing particularly in the socalled emerging countries - to get from one place to another by motorcycle, bus, airplane or private motor vehicle - the latter being characterized by more prestige but less efficiency. And while our mobility is increasing, we note that motorists in Bangkok average about seven kilometer an hour, whereas a bicycle would get us there twice as fast and help keep our CO2 balance more in equilibrium.
Options for reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the Philippines
For our general country studies, we have begun to accentuate energy-sector reduction options in certain sectors and certain regions of large countries. In doing so, we "discovered" the major cities, where people often and increasingly suffer under the intolerable noise levels and exhaust-gas pollution of motorized traffic, ubiquitous garbage heaps, and emissions from uncounted stoves, household and commercial chimneys and industrial smokestacks.
As local pollution worsens, so do the GHG emissions from motorvehicle tailpipes, and the mountains of refuse continue to grow menacingly. Since the needs of local and global environmental protection once again happen to coincide, we are aiming our initial minor attempts in both directions: in the State of Karnataka, India, and the booming City of Bangalore, with the Asian Energy Institutes for Asian Cities and, with a TC project entitled "CO2 Reduction in the Transportation Sector of Surabaya, Indonesia".
At GTZ, people are well aware of the fact that climate protection begins at home. We try to follow the well known motto: think globally and act locally. Then again, as a TC organization, we have our own way of looking at things: for us, "local" means a co-operative in Central America, a Technical College in Southern Africa or a railroad workshop in Southern Asia.
Nevertheless, GTZ is trying to be active, one example being its participation in a new initiative by climate-conscious European companies who have grouped together under the name of "European Business Council for a Sustainable Energy Future" to lobby for implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change - as opposed to the kind of foot dragging the coal and oil lobby.
Once our ongoing activities have been brought to conclusion in the course of the next two years, we will be able to pursue new, even more tangible climateprotection activities in connection with TC projects in the energy and transportation sectors, as well as in the preservation of tropical forests and in other areas.
Holger Liptow works at the GTZ department on Energy and Transportation in Eschborn, Germany