Africa Organics Project Profile
AFRICA ORGANICS was established in 2004 to assist people in remote African village communities to establish a permanent, sustainable and attractive lifestyle for both themselves and their great grandchildren. We use state of the art technology and permaculture ideas from the west combined with traditional local skills and practices.
In the Gambia we help the young men to resist the lure of the Backway route to Europe and becoming victims of dangerous people trafficking, by encouraging them to stay and develop their home country. Our specialist skills are in organic food production and permaculture techniques but we work with others who help integrate other necessary elements of village living. The continued presence and involvement of these young people will perpetuate and enhance rural village life and add to the resilience that will be required in the future.
Our current project activities are as follows:
- Through THE HOME FARM PROJECT we are able to help make available the basic equipment and materials to enable remote village people to build up a self-reliant and productive lifestyle. We also help them to ensure that supplies of these materials will be available locally for future generations.
We recognise that the poverty suffered by large numbers of Gambians in some more remote areas will exclude them from immediately enjoying the relative luxury of protecting their environment and other essential long-term schemes. The exploitation of their local surroundings, (for example the business of cutting their forests for firewood to sell), is the only method some people have in their village at present for their daily survival. This is degrading their local environment to the detriment of future generations.
We therefore help the poorest of them with the means to make a living through other more positive means. We do this by giving them an initial helping hand by providing them with donkeys to assist their farming output, fencing and water for small gardens to help their dry season income, beehives, chickens, small ruminants, etc. These poverty alleviation initiatives enable them to build up an alternative livelihood immediately and to eat and trade more responsibly. They can then develop their village without destroying their environmental inheritance.
- We train groups and individuals in SUPERSISTENCE, ie sustainable methods of all year round organic superfood production. At Kunkoto Kunda, (Home Farm), our Permaculture Training Garden and Visitor Centre, trainees, (and visitors), can experience and learn the creative reality of a truly sustainable, self-reliant living system by design.
We also help Gambians to implement similar systems in their own homes and villages as a lifestyle choice.
- We have established Sustainable Community groups, the SUSTACOM network, comprising of village people interested in taking responsibility for their own sustainable development. At their meetings we are able, through videos, discussions and presentations, to outline the current innumerable challenges and problems of life on this planet - especially in the West. We can then sensitise people to appreciate the variety of advantages they have in staying in their own home village in the Gambia.
We introduce ideas for many attractive and sustainable additions to their domestic, social, educational and business activities to enhance life at village level.
All these initiatives will in turn help generate local food security even if the tourist industry, government policies or international aid programmes change or cease.
It will also help remote village people to be more resilient to the impact of climate change and economic crashes and counter the untenable business competition from big multi-nationals in the new global market place.
Using our techniques, we help people to avoid dependence on the global monopoly of seeds, (and thereby food), owned by large GM Corporations and, by encouraging village land registration, prohibit valuable food-producing land being sold off to foreign investors or other land grabbing interests.
Overall we aim to sustain, develop and enhance life and independence in rural African villages today and in the future all in line with our overall policies of localisation and long-term self-reliance.