Thomas Wegener, founder of GrowExpress Limited talks about Heinrich Barth (born 1821) as the forerunner of the interdisciplinary and scientific view of Africa and its impact today.
In 1849, the German Heinrich Barth, on behalf of the British government, went with some comrades-in-arms on one of his longest African tours, which took him over six years and 20,000km to what is now northern Nigeria. He was one of the founders of modern African science. This was also largely made possible by his patrons and sponsors such as Berlin-based Alexander von Humboldt.
Barth was the first explorer to produce maps of large areas of Africa. Another achievement was also the exploration of African cultures, which the explorer was the first European to describe comprehensively and largely without prejudice. This he summarized in 3,500 pages. Their existence was for a long time and some until today, 200 years after his birth, hardly known to European science, also due to partly racially ideologically motivated narrow-mindedness. In spite of everything, the explanations about the Tuareg of the Tassili n’Ajjer, the Aïr mountains or the environs of Timbuktu are still indispensable for today’s ethnology.
3500 pages of immortal knowledge about Africa
A partial route led the German also on a western route to Lake Chad, and then went alone to the cities of Katsina and Kano (today’s Nigeria, where still today a house inscription reminds of him), whereby he also traveled the course of the Benue, a tributary of the Niger.
As a member of the Leopoldina, Barth left London and went back to Berlin, where he was appointed associate professor at the University of Berlin in 1863 and received a life pension from the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV until his death in 1865, due to a late effect of a gunshot wound, which he had suffered on his Mediterranean journey in Libya in 1847, as certified by Rudolf Virchow….
What remained are his 3500 pages of immortal knowledge about the cultures of Africa which led him from Berlin to Kano (today’s Nigera)…
GROWEPRESS – Unprejudiced respect as success
This unprejudiced respect for other cultures is the basis of GrowExpress‘ successful agricultural ventures in West Africa – Nigeria.
Its founder Thomas Wegener from Berlin – related to Alfred Wegener, who in the fall of 1911 accidentally became aware of the paleontological connections between South America and Africa, and thus the idea of the original continent was born – now brings together this valuable knowledge, these outstanding scientists who were far ahead of their time.
This is reflected in the fact that GrowExpress lives exactly what connects people and that is the unconditional urge for a carefree life.
And this is what people are looking for no matter where they are in the world. If this is not present they will look for it somewhere else. So it goes from the country into the city and from there possibly abroad, in order to find the carefree life represented by innumerable daily stories and TV series.
SUCCESSFUL AGRICULTURE means less migration to cities and abroad
In order not to have to accept this very arduous and unpredictable path and to be able to travel locally, long preparations were necessary. Thomas Wegener has been gathering experience in Africa since 1997. This made it possible for him in the traveled African countries to experience locally the completely own experiences of concerns and needs.
These extensive experiences brought Wegener to the realization that Africa will only develop its full independence if it can strengthen economically. This can only happen through a basic infrastructure and a developing basic industry.
This has also developed in almost all other successful economies of the world from agriculture and forestry. This is not only the basis for food, but also the prerequisite for many industries such as energy, water and general infrastructure.
To translate this into modern times and locally adapted it took 6 more years -with experiences in Ghana and Ivory Coast- until Thomas Wegener founded GrowExpress in 2017 in the largest African economy, Nigeria.
MODERN agricultural communities bring profitability
Modern agriculture is implemented by GrowExpress in the fertile plains of the OYO National Park, which is located south of the Niger’s 4180km the third longest river in Africa.
Within this framework, the block farming concept, which combines economic efficiency with social responsibility, is pursued in an exemplary manner. Here, land that has been fallow for 70 to 100 years has been returned to agricultural use through ecological tree-field farming.
The involvement of local farmers, mostly retarded single women, who also benefit from these economic activities through education, respect as well as income, together bring forward the re-blooming of agriculture in one of the most fertile parts of West Africa, in the state of Nigeria.
GrowExpress is committed to restoring these large-scale landscapes in a gentle way. This is accomplished through organic and agronomic cultivation and assistance from the International Institutes and local universities. This includes the preparation of agricultural land, through seeding, growth support, harvesting and marketing.
CLEAR CONCEPT – Implementation in coordination with the state and the economy
After soil analysis and clearing of ecologically non-valuable bush land, crop rotations are determined and agricultural mechanization is pursued. The state government of the Nigerian state supports the farm project and fixed purchase contracts have been concluded so that the economic dimension of agriculture is secured in the long term.
Through the successful implementation of these projects, Nigeria with its ~200 million inhabitants can produce large parts of its own food on the fertile land, stop the exodus from the country and abroad, strengthen the local structures and thus counter economic upheavals after the end of the oil era.
Helping people to help themselves in the long term – The European project „Agricultural Cooperation“ aims to make agriculture more attractive to young people through training and to bring about improvements through active learning in so-called „best practice farms“ through constant exchange.
The GrowExpress Farm project focuses on education and training, high-yielding local seeds, ecological growth support for high-yielding harvests and marketing of the products for an attractive life in the countryside.
And thus GrowExpress, the by Heinrich Barth founded and in the north of Nigeria in Kano thought achievements, like that of the prejudice-free and respectful handling with one another continue, in order to advance and carry along the prospering economic life of Africa on a long-term basis with own merits and economic successes.
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Cocoa House, Dugbe, 200263 Ibadan, Nigeria
The GrowExpress office located in Nigeria Cocoa House, Dugbe, 200263 Ibadan, Nigeria. Completed in 1965 at a height of 105 meters, Cocoa House was once the tallest building in Nigeria and the first skyscraper in West Africa. It is located in Dugbe, one of the main commercial areas in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.