ZacaTech (214)

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A unique approach to educating rural subsistence farmers about low-cost agricultural technologies specifically designed to thrive in the harsh central Mexican environment.

On the MIT Global Challenge at: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/teams/view/214

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ZacaTech (214)

  1. 1. Zacatech Sivakami Sambasivam Stephanie Lin Paula Trepman Samantha Hartzell Mary Masterman Francisco Javier Valenzuela Acosta Education on low-cost agricultural technologies to improve the livelihoods of subsistence farmers in Mexico.
  2. 2. The Population: Zacatecas, Mexico <ul><li>State of Zacatecas: </li></ul><ul><li>- 2 nd highest degree of poverty and marginalization in Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Municipality of Pinos: </li></ul><ul><li>High marginalization </li></ul><ul><li>300 scattered, rural farming communities </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Problem Focal Problem Solution Implementation  Causes Cost – high risk Limited access to information Lack of precedence Lack of technology Effects Cycle of subsistence farming Low crop yields Lack of crop diversity Childhood Malnutrition Diabetes Difficulty in accessing produce Decreased income
  4. 4. Our Solution: the Technology Cow manure Daily maintenance High-impact Fertilizer Methane Gas Diverse Produce
  5. 5. Technological Feasibility <ul><li>All year round: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fresh vegetables (1 cup per day per middle school student) produced. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greenhouse heats biodigestor -> optimal conditions for anaerobic bacteria; biogas used for cooking. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>During the winter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biodigestor operates at a lower temperature; biogas used to power heater that keeps greenhouse warm enough to enable extended growing season. </li></ul></ul>- Average minimum temperature in January in La Vaquita = 43°F - Ideal temperature of greenhouse = 60°F => 5580 Btu required per hour to heat greenhouse during cold periods - Biogas providing 40,000 Btu/day could heat greenhouse for 7 hours/day
  6. 6. Our Solution: the Model Small-scale farmers Students Education Technological training Educational Biodigester-Greenhouses Implementation of low-cost technologies Improvement of crop yields Crop diversification Community construction of biodigester-greenhouses near secondary schools.
  7. 7. <ul><li>Community outreach and planning </li></ul><ul><li>Initial prototype of low-cost greenhouse and biodigester </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Design and prototyping of greenhouse heating system </li></ul><ul><li>Reevaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation in target communities </li></ul>Current Stage of Project

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