Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘agriculture

Masters in Agriculture, Wine and Beer making, Food preservation, Textile, Dying, paper production… The Phoenicians

It is reported that Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder, after visiting Carthage and returning to Rome with the most exquisite and delightful crops of the orchards in Carthage, he exclaimed with raging indignation:

“Carthage is back to its former glory and power. I am of the opinion that Carthage must be destroyed…”

And Carthage was sacked in 149 BC, let burn for 17 days, and perishing 50,000 inhabitants…

The Roman senate ordered to retrieve from the ruins the 28 volumes of Mago masterful “Treatise on Agriculture”.

This treatise of the “Father of Agriculture” was translated into Latin. The Phoenicians considered agriculture as a precise science.

The Roman scholar Silanus translated the chief parts of the volumes.

St. Augustine, who spoke the still living Punic tongue in the 4th century AC, wrote: “On the word of many scholars, there was a great deal of virtue and wisdom in the Punic books…”

Even in the 20th century, many illustrious chemists did their best to decode the Phoenician purple color  and their dying processes and failed.

The Phoenician textile industry was traded in every corner of the world, and silk, and cotton were common elements in the fabrics…

Papyrus and paper are derivation of the Phoenician term babir, and the City-State of Byblos, renowned for book production gave birth to  Bible, bibliotheca, bibliography…

The Roman Strabo wrote:

“In Sidon and Tyre, one could learn astronomy and arithmetic, which are necessary for navigation… And one could also study all branches of philosophy…”

Paul Valery wrote in “Architecture, 1923”: “This audacious Phoenician ceaselessly agitated the Ocean…

When archaeologists and paleontologists … claim that mankind civilization has the Near East as its hotbed, they mean:

“The Phoenician and Chaldean immigrated everywhere around the world and traded their goods, language, alphabet, industries… and left their imprint of high level civilization to future generations of mankind…”

Note 1:  Colonized the Americas? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/evidences-the-phoenicians-colonized-the-americas-and-new-zealand-part-3/

Note 2: Inspired from “6,000 years of peaceful contribution to mankind” by late Charles Corm 

Natural reforestation of desertified regions in Africa

About 50% of the population of Niger are menaced of famine.

Famine in Chad has receded for the time being. Desert has been gaining on lands in the Sahel (dry savanna  in the States of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad south of the Sahara desert.

Satellite images of the Sahel region in Africa show the regaining of forests in particular spots where desert had occupied fertile lands in the last three decades.

Forest of local trees are sprouting west of the Capital Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and in the south of Niger on the borders with north Nigeria.

About 200 million trees are covering an area of 3,125 square-kilometer.

What’s going on?

Local people are doing something that neither international aids nor technologies have proven to be efficient.  People are reverting to ancient agro-forestry techniques called “zai”.

They have been digging large holes (not deep but large enough) called “poquets” in large numbers.  The scarce water retained during the rainy season in these poquets (that are filled with local manure) helped grow natural tree shoots from grains in the manure.

The trees stabilize the soil, give shades, and permit growing abundance in harvesting mil and sorghum or sorgho (the main food staples in these regions).

In addition, people are now able to cut dry wood for cooking meals.  Cattle production has increased for the same size of lands.

Three decades ago, peasants had to saw their fields 4 times a year:  Dry winds ruined harvests.

With the rejuvenation of forests (natural assisted regeneration), peasants need to saw once and the harvest are abundant enough for self-sufficiency.

In the 1980’s, the under-ground water naps were being reduced by about a meter per year.  With the natural reforestation of local trees such as acacias and zizyphus (sisiphus?) the under-ground water has increased by 5 meters even with the demographic increases.

It appears that non local trees die 80% of the time within two years.

Cutting down forests has an interesting story.

During colonial period of France, French administrators declared forests to be national reserved areas so that only France could harvest forests; the local people were forbidden to satisfying their need in wood.  After independence, most of these African States had terrible reactions to colonial power and started purposely cutting down forests as symbol of revolt.

Sawadogo says: “In the beginning, I used to mix trees and harvests.  I tend now to preferring growing trees.  The more trees the better the revenue.”  Trees serve in construction, heating, and traditional pharmacopoeia.

International aides were targeting different alternatives such as “millennium villages” where vast amount of money and technologies were infused to providing seeds, chemical fertilizers, clinics, extracting under-ground water.  These projects failed and newer investments have slowed down after the financial crash.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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