We strongly believe that investing in agricultural derived technologies for humanitarian demining is the best option we have to reduce the landmine problem quickly and with good returns into long term development of mine affected countries.
We are currently assisting at a widespread crisis, ranging from the energy to the food domain. At this particular point in time, land is assuming increasingly more importance due to its ability to provide food and energy in the form of biofuel. This is the main reason behind the “Land Grabbing” phenomenon which sees many rich countries renting large portions of arable land from poor countries to secure themselves the ability to grow food and biofuel for their citizens in change of promises of local economic investments.
At the same time we are assisting at an increase in vulnerability of poor countries upon weather and economic shocks, in other terms at a decrease in their resilience.
As such vulnerability is strongly linked to investments in agriculture, which have been very low compared to other forms of aid in the past, it is clear that the only way poor countries can remain owners of their land, can cope with future problems related to food and energy scarcity and climate change is to foster their agricultural activities and capabilities.
In this context, it assumes particular importance to introduce more agricultural technologies in poor countries and to develop there the capacity to perform research on these technologies and modify them according to the needs.
A first need, where the suspect of the presence of landmines exists, is to verify if the land is actually contaminated and if so, to clear it from explosive hazards.
More on our vision on the use of agricultural technologies for humanitarian demining can be found in the paper:
"Could Agricultural Machines Make A Country Impact-Free by 2010?", Journal of Mine Action, Issue 13.2, August 2009, Annual Edition, at http://maic.jmu.edu/journal/13.2/focus/cepolina-zoppi/cepolina.htm