Doccies without borders

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Agri savvy in Africa and Asia

One of Sustainable Seas Trust's strongest and longest operating divisions is Trust Sustainability Films (TSF), our hard working film unit which is headed by Kyle Robinson. This small but first class film team has produced more than ten educational, promotional and social documentaries this year alone.

2013 heralds a new step for the team as they experience first-hand the trials and triumphs in filming abroad. Providing the platform for TSF to do so is the global network START (SysTems for Analysis, Research and Training) who has made important strides in advancing knowledge generation all over climate-sensitive sectors of the developing world.

The newest project START has involved TSF with is an educational and informative piece focussing on a growing trend seen all over our world, the innovative and useful practice of peri-urban agriculture. This global practice has an extremely positive impact in developing and food insecure nations. Slowly and steadily, more and more urban families are using whatever space they have available to them to practise subsistence farming.

For ten days during mid-July, Kyle, fellow TSF team member Martin Bleazard and long term SST partner and filmmaker, Graham Holmes, travelled to Uganda to document the urban food producing trend in Kampala.

“The Ugandans were friendly and some of the hardest working people we’d ever met,” commented Kyle, “People were continually on the go, delivering goods on overloaded rusty looking bicycles or families rushing about on dubious looking motorbikes. Sadly they were all very wary of our cameras, which made filming a bit of a nightmare!”
The team filmed, interviewed, researched and explored from pre-dawn to well after dusk; strapping GoPros to local’s bicycles, interviewing all manner of characters including a rather innovative pig farmer and trying some rather dodgy looking goat stew.

“At a glance it looks like the entire Ugandan economy is run off bananas!” said Martin, “They’re used for everything, with nothing going to waste. The bird life was one of the best parts though, with Marabou Storks roaming around the middle of the city, truly amazing.”

The Ugandans innovativeness with peri-urban agriculture was an impressive accomplishment for the film crew to capture. Successful farmers were producing healthy meals for their families in the middle of the city. “More people need to make a move to this kind of lifestyle,” said Martin, “mass produced imported food cannot be the solution for our world’s food problems.”

The next phase of filming lies around the corner, as Kyle, Graham and Justin Archer leave for Kathmandu, the small but remarkable capital city of Nepal. The team leaves late next week to spend a week documenting how the Nepalese are dealing with the global food grind.

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