In Africa, arable land is on a constant decrease due to urbanization, pollution and climate change. This has made food process go up and access to fresh safe food evermore difficult.

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A community group in the coastal town of Mtwapa is introducing urban farming in an area that would otherwise not grow any food. “We’re addressing the challenge of providing nutrients to people in an affordable way” – Heino Dahmen, mentor at Fundi Kipusa

Fundi Kipusa has developed an ingenious easy-to-use vertical garden called the ipot maxi, made from recycled industrial barrels.

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The basic design of the ipot is made up of an industrial drum, a jerrican, a drainage pipe, used T-shirt strips and drone media. The drum pot is cut and pushed close to the bottom leaving a reservoir space. Poles are created on the sides of the drum. The drain pipe is put through the centre and grow media fills the sides. The T-shirt strips are fixed to the can and into the grow media.

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With the ipot, they have combined hydroponic and permaculture into one device. Hydroponics by recycling water and permaculture, because unlike hydroponics they also use compost. The ipot saves the farmer large amounts of water compared to normal irrigation. and The output per square metre is impressive. “The ipot grows on a square metre 20 times more food that conventional farming.” – Heino Dahmen

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The grow media which holds the plants in the pot is also environmentally friendly

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The ipot is already changing the lives of its users both financially and health-wise. With the success of this technology, the next stage is scaling up, and Fundi Kipusa believe the best way is through schools, as this will have far reaching impact.

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