Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Capitalism, Democracy and Food - The lunatics are running the asylum.

We live in a world where one billion of us are overweight or obese and one billion of us are hungry or starving. Many of the over fed are also undernourished due to the poor quality of food – literally stuffed and starved. In the 1950’s the WHO picked up on an old proverb, and suggested we eat an apple a day – as it contained enough nutrients to keep us healthy. If they ran the same campaign today it would be a less catchy 2.3 apples a day to have the same micronutrient effect. Created by AcademicEarth.org

Friday, 10 May 2013

Jason Drew and AgriProtein win 2013 United Nations Award for Innovation

   
 
Jason Drew and AgriProtien win United Nations Award 
 
   
 


CAPE TOWN, South Africa, 7 May 2013 – With global population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050 and more than 900 million people living in hunger, the demand for nutritious food is rapidly increasing. Acknowledging this need and the impact of hunger in Africa, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) has named the AgriProtein team as its 2013 winner. The team of researchers and entrepreneurs will receive USD 100 000 for its innovative approach to nutrient recycling – a method that uses waste and fly larvae to produce natural animal feed.

Selected from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the AgriProtein team was recognized at the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner in Cape Town, South Africa. The AgriProtein solution collects biodegradable waste, feeds it to flies that in turn produce larvae that are ground into protein to provide a more ecologically friendly, naturally occurring type of animal feed. This approach improves the nutritional value of meat and lowers the cost of animal feed for African processors and farmers

The IPA 2013 Gala also recognized two runners up for their contributions to African innovation. In the business potential category, Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy received USD 25 000 for creating a bladeless wind convertor. In the social impact category, Sanoussi Diakite received USD 25 000 for developing a thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of fonia – a West African cereal – in just 8 minutes.

“The Innovation Prize for Africa winners showcase African solutions to African challenges,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, co]founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA. “It is time for private sector leaders, donors and governments to work together to invest in practical solutions that will sustain Africa’s economic growth.”

Winners were selected by a skilled panel of jurors based on the marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and business potential of their respective innovations. They are provided with unrestricted funds in recognition of their achievements and are free to use the Prize in the manner they deem most appropriate.

“We are honoured by this remarkable recognition,” said Jason Drew a member of the AgriProtein team. “We are passionate about expanding our business to recycle more waste nutrients and supply a natural protein to feed farm animals - helping sustainably feed our continent - this is an African contribution to sustainable agriculture for our planet.”

Founded by the African Innovation Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the IPA is focused on building Africa’s capacity by investing in local entrepreneurship. The Prize mobilizes leaders from all sectors – private sector, donors and government – to promote and invest in African development through innovation.

“The AgriProtein team’s innovation is just one example of the game-changing African ideas that will continue to harness our natural resources profitably and sustainably,” said Dr.Francois Bonnici, Director Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. “The IPA invests in Africa’s greatest resource – its human capital.” The call for applications for IPA 2014 will be announced in July 2013. For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission details, please visit: InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org. For highlights and more information, follow the IPA on Twitter and Facebook.

About IPA
The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is an award founded by the African Innovation Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a total of USD 150 000 winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development. The IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. The prize also encourages private equity investors, government and development leaders to invest across
sectors and build a climate that fuels Africa’s economic growth. For more information visit www.innovationprizeforafrica.org

 

   


www.jasonjdrew.com

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

How a humble fly can help sustain the world


The harvesting of billions of larvae on fly farms, selling sterile male mosquitoes to prevent disease at the next soccer World Cup and turning a profit from "taking the piss out of Kenya".

Jason Drew and AgriProtein Team Wins United Nations Award for Innovation for Africa


Innovation Prize for Africa Winner Uses Flies and Waste to Make Food

Prize identifies breakthroughs that exemplify Africa’s innovation and investment potential
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, 7 May 2013 – With global population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050 and more than 900 million people living in hunger, the demand for nutritious food is rapidly increasing. Acknowledging this need and the impact of hunger in Africa, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) has named the AgriProtein team as its 2013 winner. The team of researchers and entrepreneurs will receive USD 100 000 for its innovative approach to nutrient recycling – a method that uses waste and fly larvae to produce natural animal feed.

Selected from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the AgriProtein team was recognized at the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner in Cape Town, South Africa. The AgriProtein solution collects biodegradable waste, feeds it to flies that in turn produce larvae that are ground into protein to provide a more ecologically friendly, naturally occurring type of animal feed. This approach improves the nutritional value of meat and lowers the cost of animal feed for African processors and farmers

The IPA 2013 Gala also recognized two runners up for their contributions to African innovation. In the business potential category, Hassine Labaied and Anis Aouini from Saphon Energy received USD 25 000 for creating a bladeless wind convertor. In the social impact category, Sanoussi Diakite received USD 25 000 for developing a thermal powered machine that husks 5 kilograms of fonia – a West African cereal – in just 8 minutes.

“The Innovation Prize for Africa winners showcase African solutions to African challenges,” said Jean‐Claude Bastos de Morais, co‐founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA. “It is time for private sector leaders, donors and governments to work together to invest in practical solutions that will sustain Africa’s economic growth.”

Winners were selected by a skilled panel of jurors based on the marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and business potential of their respective innovations. They are provided with unrestricted funds in recognition of their achievements and are free to use the Prize in the manner they deem most appropriate.

“We are honoured by this remarkable recognition,” said Jason Drew a member of the AgriProtein team. “We are passionate about expanding our business to recycle more waste nutrients and supply a natural protein to feed farm animals ‐ helping sustainably feed our continent ‐ this is an African contribution to sustainable agriculture for our planet.”

page2image840
Founded by the African Innovation Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the IPA is focused on building Africa’s capacity by investing in local entrepreneurship. The Prize mobilizes leaders from all sectors – private sector, donors and government – to promote and invest in African development through innovation.

“The AgriProtein team’s innovation is just one example of the game‐changing African ideas that will continue to harness our natural resources profitably and sustainably,” said Dr.Francois Bonnici, Director Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. “The IPA invests in Africa’s greatest resource – its human capital.”

The call for applications for IPA 2014 will be announced in July 2013. For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission details, please visit: InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org. For highlights and more information, follow the IPA on Twitter and Facebook.

About IPA
The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is an award founded by the African Innovation Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a total of USD 150 000 winners who deliver market‐oriented solutions for African‐led development. The IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. The prize also encourages private equity investors, government and development leaders to invest across sectors and build a climate that fuels Africa’s economic growth. For more information visit www.innovationprizeforafrica.org

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Big Year for the Flies

This year Jason Drew expects to sell millions of mosquitoes. He is also banking on it being a big year for flies – literally.
Drew is an eco-capitalist, although not so long ago he was your typical corporate heavyweight: for 25 years he held leadership roles in companies such as the conglomerate General Electric,  health insurer Bupa and British online financial group Egg. Eventually he left the corporate world to start his own enterprises until, in 2008, he sold them all.
The heart attack that came that year didn’t stop Drew dead in his tracks, but the second one changed his life.
Born in the UK, Drew studied at the European Business School in London, Paris and Frankfurt and today lives on his farm in South Africa’s Tulbagh Valley. Once he had offloaded his “industrial revolution” businesses, Drew travelled the world and was shocked by the damage he saw wrought on the planet’s seas, fresh water and land ecosystems. 
Click Here for Full Story

Jason Drew at Ci2012 - "From Industrial Revolution to Sustainability Revolution"

Jason speaking at TEDxTable Mountain

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

More rhinos were killed in the last 18 months than in the last decade


To save the rhino we must stop the hand wringing do-good conservation nonsense and get busy finding 21st century solutions to the problem. We need to re-start trade in rhino horns, save human lives, create jobs and let capitalists save the rhino from otherwise certain extinction.  Let me explain.


The CITES blanket solution of banning trade in endangered species is archaic and born out of the 20th century antagonism between capitalists and environmentalists.  The industrial revolution is over and the sustainability revolution has begun – conservationists and business need to work together to deliver a permanent solution to the issue. If they do not, - the rhino will be extinct within 20 years from now and the only people to blame will be the conservationists and governments whose thinking is stuck in the past.

It is estimated that in 1970 there were 60,000 rhinos in Africa and today there are nearer 20,000 - mostly as a result of habitation loss fuelled by the ban in their trade as their natural habitat is turned to more profitable cropland. The ban has been in place for over 30 years during which the main beneficiaries have been criminal poaching organisations. More rhinos were killed in the last 18 months than in the last decade. At the current rate, deaths will outstrip births by 2016, and yet we persist with policies that do not and will not work.

Rhinos mainly exist in privately owned and national game reserves. Having a rhino attracts more visitors to a reserve so it has a tourist value. Rhino are regularly traded at annual wildlife auctions and fetch somewhere in the region of $30-40,000.  Their value is falling as the danger of owning one increases. Every year over fifty game rangers are killed protecting endangered species.

The problem is that rhino are worth more dead than alive – so a poacher will spend more time and resources trying to kill one for its horn than an owner can justify in trying to protect it. The price of a rhino horn on the black market has stayed fairly stable at about $440,000 – over ten time the value of a live one. This market anomaly is created by governments and conservation groups in their misguided attempt to save the species.

The price of rhino horn is a function of supply and demand. As the number of rhino decreases the price of the horns will increase. With normal goods this would dampen demand - however with rare things from diamonds to artworks, sky-high prices can make them seem even more attractive.   With an increasingly wealthy Asian market the logical conclusion of extending the current ban on the trade in rhino horn is the animal’s extinction.   

Rhinos are in fact relatively easy to breed – all they need is plenty of space to be happy and mate.  With some 20,000 rhinos in South Africa natural, deaths could provide over 600 horns a year.  Private rhino breeders could provide more by regular horn “harvesting”. This would also protect and increase natural habitat.

A government regulated selling organisation could take a percentage of the revenue and plough it back into their conservation in the wild, and consumer education in Asia. Advertising that ridiculed consumers as munches of worthless toe nails might do the trick. That is after all what the horn is - Keratin.   This may over time reduce demand whilst financing their conservation and ensuring their survival.

The South African government, as guardian of most of the world’s rhinos, is a key stakeholder. Visiting Africa to see the big four would be a major blow to its vital  tourism industry.  SA supports the restarting of the controlled trade in horns. It is the likes of the WWF, the Born Free Foundation and Governments without a vested interest in the survival of the rhino who oppose it - and will be to blame for the rhino’s extinction.



Lets get busy repairing the future.


Jason J Drew

 www.JasonJDrew.com

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Bath Literary Festival - Jason takes a break with Monkton Senior School


Hi Jason,

I was a great privilege to meet you earlier today and the students from Monkton Senior School were very much inspired by the various projects you are involved in and the idea of 'closing the loop'. They liked your slogan of 'Raise Hell & Change the World'.

All the best,

Monkton Senior School 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Civilization on the brink – except in Davos.


The newspapers are full of dots every day – but we are failing to join them and see the picture – is it because we are too stupid or too frightened. Our leaders cavort in Davos, pleased at the light at the end of the GFC tunnel. Few see the unfolding chaos of 2013 – yet the market signals could not be clearer. Let me explain.

Last year I wrote about the price achieved in Tokyo for a single blue fin tuna. In 2011 the record was $370,000 in 2012 it was $730,000 and this January a single fish sold for $1.75 Million, despite the economic backdrop of which we are all aware.  The extraordinary and escalating price increases of mature fish is a clear sign of the imbalance of demand and supply. These prices clearly signal of the real plight of our seas. It is now a multi-billion dollar a year race to finish the rape of our seas,

Most of our industrial agricultural animal production depends on fishmeal, or other proteins whose price fluctuate alongside it. The price of fishmeal hit $2,000 per tone this month – up from $1,000 at the time of the onset of the GFC in 2008. This will drive up the price of many things including farmed fish, shellfish, chicken and pet food.

The last major price changes happened in 2008 when basic food prices rose some 25% in a year. This led to riots in over thirty countries from Greece and Italy in Europe to much of the developing world.  A similar price adjustment is happening today – deeper and faster. Changing weather patterns, damaged eco-systems and ever more people on the planet are driving an increasing mass of humanity into hunger.

In the past we simply alleviated hunger by buying grain from countries like the USA. The 2012 droughts in the US have pushed up the price of wheat and maize, and led to the world's poor eating less.  Today there are only 15 net food-exporting countries and they are under increasing pressure to feed their own populations. Buying food on global markets just shifts the hunger and food insecurity from one location to another. That is why countries like Saudi and China are buying up farmland across Africa. In fact they have already acquired more productive farmland on the African continent than exists in France. In Saudi’s case you can’t eat sand or drink oil and in China’s – well what would you do with 17% of the world’s population and only 8% of the worlds land mass.

Jim Yong Kim, the new president of the World Bank, spoke at Davos this month and gave a grave warning about the risk of conflicts over natural resources in a world where eco-systems are strained.  "There will be water and food fights everywhere,”
He also said action was needed to create a carbon market, eliminate fossil-fuel subsidies and "green" the world's 100 megacities, which are responsible for 60 to 70% of global emissions. We need more people like Kim who can see the coming food crisis.

If we do nothing - we risk nothing less than the collapse of civilisation as famine and hunger rip through the slums of our cities and cause riots across the world.


Our leaders need to get busy making some hard and unpopular choices. Otherwise Mother Nature will make the choices for us. Kim is the first one to spell it out, lets hope the others at Davos were paying attention.


 Lets get busy repairing the future.

Jason J Drew