The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a crisis unlike any we’ve seen. Food export and import have been affected in many parts of the world due to the restriction on transportation. Salt Farm Foundation has been receiving various emails from countries such as the Maldives and Nepal which have been affected due to restrictions in trade. The Maldives, in particular, is an island nation which is completely dependent on the import of food products from neighbouring countries. They are unable to grow enough crops due to lack of freshwater and soil-salinity. Saline agriculture is one of the solutions that could offer help to countries such as the Maldives. We are hopeful that once this crisis comes to an end, we will be able to help countries around the world to strengthen their food security.
Bonaire is also an island nation that depends heavily on agricultural import. Salt Farm Foundation has been actively working on identifying opportunities to grow crops on Bonaire since 2015 and on February 2020, we went back to Bonaire and finalised the last steps to setup test locations on Bonaire. During the trip, we met with our local team, headed by Rosemarijn De Jong, and organised an information evening for interested farmers. An outcome of this evening was eleven farmers who would like to take part in the project and test crops at their respective location. We worked together with the local policymakers and officials to facilitate the set up of new testing locations and for support for the project. We would especially like to thank Jasper Dalhuisen and Yoeri de Vries from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality for helping us set up this project. In the coming months, we will start setting up the test locations with the participating farmers on Bonaire and start testing the crops. In the next issue of our newsletter, we will provide more information about our project on Bonaire.
Salt Farm Foundation, thanks to the support of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, will continue to step-up its effort via its knowledge centre to develop and spread knowledge of saline agriculture to help the farmers and improve the food security worldwide.
This text originally appeared in our newsletter - April 2020