More than just a hobby.

La Souce Designs 1

How do you make landscaping interesting? This was the question I posed to Ms. Indira Rampersad co owner of La Souce Environmental Designs based in Trinidad. Ironically Indira was just as surprised by finding out the existence of the Tech4agri Blog.

After a healthy exchange of conversation Indira explained that there are so many backyard gardeners in Trinidad owing to the number of social media groups centered on the topic. Together with her husband started La Souce to fill this service niche.

She tells more in this interview:

Keron: Can you please tell me about the service offered?

Indira: La Souce is a full service landscaping company providing all landscaping activities including lawn cutting, tree trimming, pruning of plants, pruning hedges,etc.

We also provide rentals of water features and plants for private and corporate events. Our water features are built in-house and designs are customized to our clients needs. We also rent lights, gazebo and pillars to complete the décor. Additionally we do rental of plants for offices and residential properties.

However, our most recent product offerings have been landscaping workshops for beginners. Workshops are held once a month, on Saturdays, from 9am-1pm. Each month a different topic is taught.

They are entirely practical and most of the workshops are actually held at a volunteer’s residence. The properties chosen will be landscaped on the day of the workshops giving the participants exposure to the various techniques demonstrated and to learn the tricks of the trade.

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CSAC: Climate Smart Agriculture Compliance

Meet Steve Maximay. He is a consultant running his business Science Based Initiatives out of the island of Grenada.

He has created a trade marked licensed tool called the Climate Smart Agriculture Compliance tool (CSAC).

The tool is a simple checklist but its robustness lies in being able to be converted to a numeric scale out of 100. This now makes it easier to vet projects that seek financing. This is big news!

Why? From a clear standpoint the CSAC tool prevents #greenwashing.

What is #greenwashing? This is when a situation exists that a project coming out of a group or organization appears to be #climate smart and sustainable, but in reality it is not.

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We finally did it! Tech4agri on TV

We’re live!

We finally did it! Check out our latest promo above.

Tech4agri is now airing on local television station SynergyTV! It is nothing short of a milestone. As previous blog posts will show it was long and difficult road to get here but we actually did it.

This television station airs locally but is part of the FLOW cable service line up of stations. This means that the series will air in 7 Caribbean countries – Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Curacao, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

We are fortunate to have the series air 4 times a day from Mon – Fri and then 3 times a day on weekends. This is amazing for us! Why?

By being on TV we are able to offer advertising and sponsorship options, which for most stakeholders is a better option that partnering with a web only programme. Not to worry, Tech4agri will always be a blog but stakeholders simply “get” tv. To them they see more value in their dollars…we hope.

Let’s back track a bit

Many other things have happened over the last few months. We unfortunately lost what little funding we had due to excessive delay in getting our episodes up. It was one of our biggest failures but a lesson learnt. However we certainly not daunted because now we are on our way to success.

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Tech4agri: the web series Ep 7 – The ‘see’weed among us

One night residents, tourists and fishermen alike went to bed in the coastal village of Speyside on the island of Tobago. The next morning greeted everyone in the most shocking way possible.

From April to September 2015 the Caribbean experienced a severe occurrence of a new type of natural disaster. Sargassum seaweed washed up on the shores of several islands causing pertinent issues for coastal and fishing communities.

Though the seaweed has been washing up on the region’s shores for about 5 years, its quantity in 2015 was unlike anything seen before, raising its threat level to a national issue.

What exactly is this seaweed, and what is being done to prevent its negative effects?

The seaweed is actually a brown algae and its type is new to the region meaning it is an invasive species. As some may know invasive species are referred to as any flora or fauna that is not native to a specific area, country or region.

The phenomenon occurred from April to September last year, which is an unusually long time span for seaweed to float into Caribbean waters.

Furthermore it is expected to happen again.

Warmer temperatures, nutrients from the Amazon and Congo rivers, as well as the ever present Sahara dust in the atmosphere all combine in the Atlantic ocean providing the perfect environment for the sargassum seeds to flourish, gather and make its way to the Caribbean islands.

In this episode we visit the Institute of Marine Affairs who took the lead in combating the problem in Trinidad and Tobago, to learn more.

Tech4agri: the web series Ep 6 – Water for 1000 acres

We’re back and large scale! Literally.. This week we feature the large scale, mechanized rice farmers of the Akaloo family who are responsible for bring local rice back to the shelves of Trinidad and Tobago. But how do they manage over 1000 acres of land all in need of water?

After much delays and a long hiatus we are finally resuming the work of @tech4agri. We’ve updated our website after much technical issues, had some travel and have kept active via our instagram account, where you can see the trailers for our upcoming videos.

Do enjoy, stay dedicated and we look forward to your continued support.

Our 2015 Photo Story

Mic...check Script..check Scene...check Let's do this story!
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Let’s do this story!

We’ve come to the end of another year! This time around we had some ups and downs. And we think it best to give you the highlights of our blog, our web series and our colleagues, as we wish you and yours all the best for the season and happy and prosperous New year!

Do ensure this photo story!

We started the year with our usual tech topics such as robotic farming, renewable energies and bringing old techniques back into modern production. It truly is astonishing what exists out there in the world both simple and complex technologies and sciences which make agriculture interesting to us youth. But behind all of this are people…young people!

Tech4agri at TFF

Growing out TFF community - Photo courtesy Thought for Food
Growing out TFF community – Photo courtesy Thought for Food

In came the Thought for Food Challenge and summit where we met some of the greatest and most enthusiastic young minds in food and agriculture today. The event was truly motivating having been introduced and are still in contact with finalist teams and other participants.

Tech4agri: the podcast that failed...but it will return!
Tech4agri: the podcast that failed…but it will return!

Then came a bright shining light and complete failure….well it depends on how you look at it. Tech4agri launched its very own podcast. We got some great feedback from you, our followers but reality hit, in that we just could not keep it up. When delivering our stories we want great quality and interesting content. While the podcast was great we found it difficult to find the type of content we needed while simultaneously handling our other projects. It lasted three episodes but it’s not dead it will return!

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Tech4agri: the web series Ep 5 – Pests vs Diseases vs You

What would you do if a pest or disease infested your crop and you stood to lose 40 – 50% of your investment and future profits?

This episode answers just this question with farmers who are seeking or receiving help to combat their pest/disease problem. We found out that climate change plays a clear role in the prevalence of the issue but is this the only reason?

Watch the episode to find out more!

A major part of this episode features the efforts of the Plantwise program-  a global programme led by CABI, which works to help farmers lose less of what they grow to plant health problems.

Working closely with national agricultural advisory services they establish and support sustainable networks of plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice.