Preservation Farms

 

We live in a rapidly decaying world. From global warming and depletion of the ozone; deforestation, fouled air and water and species extinction; the absence of coherent political leadership and the decay of whole societies in general, the human species is confronting a slew of hugely complex issues. In our incessant quest for food, shelter and the raw materials necessary to maintain our modern economies and lifestyles, our short-term interests are supported at the expense of the long-term viability of our planet. One of the challenges of our day is to discover and develop industries, economies and even living patterns that minimize the effects of our presence on Earth.

Responsible business enterprises should incorporate the use of appropriate technologies that are environmentally non-destructive, incorporates locally available raw materials, is economically and environmentally sustainable, and is not dehumanizing or degrading to the people who use it. Butterfly farming fits all of these characteristics of an appropriate technology. Butterfly farming is an alternative and progressive endeavour with respect to impact on the immediate surroundings to which we and other living organisms depend. In contrast to traditional farming methods in tropical countries which require the clear cutting of natural habitats, butterfly farming is dependent upon the native vegetation. Farms plant a number of native plants in and around the farm which act as a reliable food source for the larvae. Therefore, butterfly farming has an inherent mutual relationship with native plants and the habitats which they create.

Butterfly farming also contributes to other favourable factors. These would include the generation of rural employment, thereby supporting the rural economy and stemming rural to urban migratory patterns. If placed near a forest, such as a national park, the local human population would not only benefit economically from the park's existence, but would have a stake in the park´s integrity and survival. Butterflies generate foreign exchange income for hard currency starved economies. Also in favour of butterfly farming is that it is aesthetically beautiful. Not only is the operation non-obtrusive, but it can contribute intellectual stimulation and aesthetic value to the communities it’s undertaken.

Farms collect female butterflies, caught from the wild or from captive bred stock, are released to fly freely within large enclosed structures that house the required host plants. A fresh female can typically lay upwards of a hundred eggs.The collected ovae are carefully nurtured in each stage from ovae, caterpillar, to butterfly. Butterfly farming requires preparation, attention to detail, and cleanliness to increase their survival. In the wild, butterflies may expect to enjoy a 2% survival rate between ova and adult. The 98% that perish along the way may be devoured by prey, succumb to virus or diseases or not be able subsist if the climatic conditions are not right. 

By isolating the butterflies from Mother Nature´s biological controls, farms may raise the survival rate from 5% to as high as 80%.