26 Feb Haller Farmers: Restoring African Land for Over 50 Years
The Haller Farmers app is taking advantage of Africa’s increasing mobile penetration by equipping the next generation of farmers with knowledge, information and education through technology.
The app — which was developed for farmers by farmers — takes its unique name from UNEP Global 500 Laureate, Dr Rene Haller, who has spent the last 50 years experimenting with nature to restore life to degraded landscapes.
Since the 1970s, Dr Haller has used science and careful observation to allow barren quarried landscapes to be transformed into abundant and diverse forest ecosystems, sanctuaries for endangered species, and resources for local African communities.
An example of this is Haller Park, a former limestone quarry that is now a ﬂourishing hub of biodiversity. The 7km² landscape is currently home to over 2 and a half million indigenous living trees, wildlife, birds and insects – all of which play a key role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.
Dr Haller‘s mission wasn’t solely focused on ecology, it was also on laying the groundwork for the local economy’s to thrive — which is why Haller Park is now ﬁnancially and environmentally sustainable thanks to the creation of 46 natural business streams from ﬁsh farming to agroforestry.
By adapting Dr Haller’s approach and the wealth of knowledge he gained over 50 years, The Haller Foundation was able to create a digital tool in order to share this proven agricultural knowledge to the millions of smallholder farmers across Africa.
The app — which was initially launched in 2014 and has since been recognised as the Best Android App of the Year at the 2020 UK App Awards — focuses on sustainable small-scale food production and gives users insight into low cost and widely replicable farming techniques. All of the methods available through the app are aﬀordable, organic and environmentally friendly — designed to transform the land and livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
To find out more about Haller and the app, contact Joseph Baraka (Haller’s Community Project and App Outreach Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org.