Launching Phase 3 - with your HELP
In our last two Newsletters, you’ve heard about the successful completion of the first 2-year permEzone project in Asumbi, Kenya and the initiation of the far-reaching program of doctoral research which will be taking a detailed look at the impact of that first pilot program, and exploring ways to improve learning opportunities in future.
Now, we’re returning to Kenya for our newest project, working with the farmers in Kisa West, Kakamega County. Our colleagues at C-MRA who delivered the Phase 1 project are already engaged in the planning, farmer selection and other preparation activities to be ready to start training a new group of 30 lead farmers in JANUARY 2021!
Now, we’re asking for your help to raise the funds we need for this two-year program, which will build a new community of practice with 600 farmers working together to transition to the practice of regenerative farming, ultimately benefiting many more farmers and their families long into the future.
FOUR BIG REASONS TO SUPPORT PERMEZONE
- We utilize existing resources: we don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
- No need to build fresh infrastructure: we use and leverage local permaculture training centers.
- We work in cooperation with good people doing good work who are already on the ground: permEzone funds local trainers who are already literate in the local culture, language, and customs.
2. permEzone EMPOWERS the communities we serve:
- As the very foundation of this empowerment, farmers co-create the training curriculum and develop their own indicators for success to ensure the program is tailored to them and their needs.
- We recognize and rely on local trainers for their expertise and authority in their community and bioregion.
- Empowering women by including them as lead farmers in the program: they become the authority in their community on these new and important farming methods, passing down their knowledge in the peer-to peer training that is a hallmark of the permEzone program.
- We empower smallholder farmers by working in partnership with them: by co-creating the permaculture curriculum with them, the farmers learn what is important to them.
Co-creating the potential for more effective and resilient local economies is an essential component of this incentive, breaking the status quo of so many farmers living on the edge of their means. Our first pilot project demonstrated that the permEzone program has the potential to support farmers as follows:
- Training prepares farmers to resist the devastation from Drought: farmers learn techniques on how to save, store and reuse water and create drought resistant farms that can still produce crops.
- Resist damage from Floods: Farmers learn how to deal with an overabundance of water by creating berms, swales and other earthworks and plant strategically to use run-off water effectively.
- The Many Benefits of Composting: This is a huge and immediate benefit to farmers- By using “waste” farmers can build the health and life of the soil and increase water-holding capacity in soil. This reduces the need for expensive and often increasingly ineffective chemical fertilizers.
- Pest Resistance: with insect traps, strategic farm design, companion planting, and healthy compost-enriched soils which create healthy strong plants, the need for costly chemical pesticides is reduced.
- Kitchen Gardens: every farmer learns the benefits of growing a variety of crops to feed their families right on their own land instead of only growing 1 or 2 cash crops that they can’t eat. This way they can increase their families’ calories and nutrition, reduce the need to buy food from the market, and contribute to their local community’s food security.
- Added income streams: by connecting with the permEzone community, farmers from the first completed phase of the program have created a profitable poultry operation. This is in addition to the money they make from selling the abundance from their kitchen gardens in the market.
- Village Savings & Loan Association: the community from phase 1 worked together to create a local savings and loan where local farmers are encouraged to pool their investments and make loans for interest.
- Building Soil Health: which captures carbon out of the atmosphere.
- Increasing Crop Variety & Biodiversity: Growing a variety of local and heirloom vegetables increases the diversity of crops and increases the resilience to pest and weather pressure. It also builds biodiversity by attracting different beneficial insects, birds and animals.
- Tree planting: prevents soil erosion and water loss and sequesters carbon.
- Multi-level Planting: by recreating nature’s genius in farms, farmers find they can plant more crops in less space. This means more profitable use of their land and more plants mean more capacity to pull carbon out of the atmosphere.
- Clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean bodies: by reducing harmful chemical inputs to the land the whole ecosystem - which includes the farmers - gets healthier and stronger.
PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN TO SUPPORT PAUL OMOLLO AND THE TEAM AT C-MRA IN THEIR WORK WITH THE FARMERS IN KISA WEST
We provide training and support for impoverished rural communities to learn how to help themselves.
Your contribution will:
- Help hundreds of families feed themselves with nutritious food
- Help them increase their income from diverse crops, and reduce farm costs
- Help us support them as they work together to find shared solutions to common problems
- Help improve the local environment and take action to reverse climate change