Keeping Farms Alive on a BudgetMphatso Simbao, Zambia The National Geographic Explorer Award, 16-18
In Lusaka, Zambia, family involvement in local politics has made Mphatso (18) keenly interested in reducing poverty in his community. As Southern Africa struggles to recover from its worst drought in decades, farmers are seeing their crops destroyed due to El Nino weather changes, leading to famine for millions. Without crops, farmers can’t make a living, making it harder than ever for them to pay for the farming supplies they need to keep their farms fertile and their families thriving. To help local farmers find low-cost, affordable solutions for pesticides and fertilizers, Mphatso investigated alternative ways of generating the supplies farmers need. He created a simple, portable production station that requires basic cooking materials like charcoal and local plant leaves from the ground. Based on his methods, Mphatso believes farmers can save hundreds of British Pounds in costs, saving ~50% on fertilizers and ~80% on pesticides to help them produce better, more abundant crops.