Is the African Union aware of the Open Source Hardware movement?
In short there is a FREE movement called “Open Source Hardware” that gives away FREE plans for CHEAP and EASY build-it-yourself Tractors, Torch table, Drill press, Earth Brick Press, Harvester, String Trimmer, Soil Pulveriser, and dozens of other farm and industrial tools that could revolutionise village life.
It’s just like the free software for computers, except these are plans for cheap and easy tractors!
If your people need a tractor, or work in a village that needs cheap tractors and farm equipment, why not build it themselves in about 6 days at a cost of about 1/8th of buying a new one? These things are built to last — without “built in obsolescence” that multinationals use to get repeat business — and once they’ve built it, they will know how to service it for life.
But as I said above, it’s not just tractors. It’s tools for the farmer or baker or beekeeper or chicken farmer or workshop owner. Imagine all their equipment coming at 1/8th the cost and free of maintenance fees (other than the replacement parts they might make or buy).
The plans use scrap metal which is shaped to become swappable components almost like Lego for grown-ups. So once they’ve built one item they might have gained the confidence to build others. Once they’ve build the Torch Table or Drill Press they might then tackle the Tractor or Harvester!
The only catch — the *ingredients* that make up the tractor are not free but must be sourced locally. So the local villager will buy from local African villages or workshops or recycled metal scrap-yards. But that’s good, because that guarantees the money goes to the local African economy, rather than overseas so some rich multinational!
For example, to buy a new tractor in America can be anywhere from $25 thousand to $120 thousand. The OpenFarmTech.org tractor was only $12,000.
Once they’ve built it they will know how to maintain it forever!
It’s all FREE, as far as I know there are no joining fees or anything like that. It’s run by permaculture greenies, so I say take it at face value and see what comes of it.
Marcin spoke at TED.
They aim to develop free plans for the 50 most important industrial machines that make a comfortable modern life possible. How could your people help local farmers, bakers, tool-shop owners and mechanics with FREE plans for their equipment?
Send them to the following links! This is one of the most exciting and revolutionary ideas I’ve ever seen.
Wiki with the plans and links to other Open Source hardware websites.
Do they need a chicken-egg incubator, earth-brick maker, bakery oven, harvesters, workshops, greenhouses, wind turbines… it’s all coming to OpenFarmTech.org