Pilot Phase 1 Completes Successfully
permEzone field team, Paul and Reagan, and Stephanie from Biovision Foundation with the 10 lead farmers.
The hallmarks of permEzone, utilizing local resources and engaging the people we are trying to help in all aspects of the process, allowed the program to be tough and nimble enough to maneuver through all the changes and struggles of the past 2 years. What is apparent now more than ever is that the need for local solutions to food security, resilient village economies, and money saving farming methods is urgent.
Clement Akoko making presentations after a discussion group.
Clement at a MEL workshop.
A Look Back:
Setting the Stage for Participation and Absorption
Training and Implementation of Farm Designs
Setting up the 10 model farms and the extension services then followed. This supported the farmers in designing their model farms with the concepts and techniques of permaculture, and helped them with implementation and addressed any challenges experienced.
The farmers were supported in total for 2 full years as they applied their new training to model farms - experimenting and practicing their techniques and understanding while simultaneously learning how to pass on this knowledge to the other farmers in the group.
Stephen assisting Leonard on sack gardening management
Paul assisting Helida on developing her farm design
Farmers Training Other Farmers: Peer to Peer Education
Citizen Scientists: MEL- Monitoring Evaluation and Learning
Farmers were taught how to do soil tests and to evaluate the condition of their soils. This was enhanced alongside their ability to keep farm records, enabling them to better understand improvements in production and overall farm health.
The data from baseline, mid-term and concluding surveys and questionnaires shows that the farmers steadily but modestly improved on their practice and quality throughout the project. Valuable information was learned about what the farmers excelled at (making compost, mulching, planting legumes, and seed saving) and what they struggled with (using insect traps, using water saving strategies, building earth works such as swales and berms). One conclusion was the need to put more emphasis on supporting the farmers’ own efforts to explore innovative solutions on their farms. These findings will help shape how information is presented in future projects. For example, only presenting one or two concepts each time, so that they can be fully absorbed before training begins on others.
They have also come up with a poultry enterprise where each and every one of them begins with at least 50 chicks. This enterprise has many advantages to them i.e. source of compost materials from the wastes, source of food from poultry meat and eggs, and increased household incomes.
During the last three months of the project, a mentorship program was developed by C-MRA to take care of the 240 beneficiaries and ensure sustainability. Each of the 10 lead farmers were assigned to mentor 24 other farmers to be responsible for them and present their achievements and challenges during the monthly meetings.
Influencing Policies and Local Authorities
During the Phase three pilot, C-MRA aims to involve more government officials, especially from the ministry of Agriculture and Environment, who are involved in making agriculture policies.
“Currently my wife does not go to the market to buy kales as I have plenty of it from my two sack gardens. This has taught me that one doesn’t need to have a large farm for him to produce volumes of vegetables.”
Work continues on the mobile phone information platform as a means of information sharing among the local farming community. C-MRA is working on a sustainability plan, and has acquired a piece of land to develop a training center to demonstrate permaculture practices.
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