The High Value Agriculture Products (HVAP) initiative is now gathering momentum. There has been a lot of background activity since my last update back in December. Steve Mangan presented our concept to the GEN Africa conference in December .
Our work will now be extended to support a pan Africa model entitled the Ecovillage Permaculture Initiatives (EVPI) opening up the fair trade market to ecovillage community and regional enterprises replicating our model in the GEN Africa organisation.
In order to embed our concept into the ethos of the Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage (NPE) we are developing long term strategic alliances while being guided by the ethics of permaculture.
Phase 1 has just commenced and will conclude at the end of 2015. In this phase we will work towards building capacity and creating beneficiary participation. We have identified a number of streams of activity to support our long term twin objectives of
- developing the NPE project as a hub of key regenerative practises and business enterprise for sustainable living using permaculture design and principles
- alleviating poverty in the local region through the HVAP programme
Streams of Activity
The activities we are working on right now are:
- commencing the HVAP crop trial
- expansion of the natural building complex
- bringing internet connectivity to the Bafut community
- micro enterprise generation for the BWC workers cooperative
- water harvesting infrastructure for the NPE landscape
Shortly, the rainy season will commence. This will trigger the start of the HVAP trials, 1/2 acre on the NPE project has been allocated to this project split into two 1/4 acre plots that will serve as our control plot and our intercropping plot with HVAP plant included.
We will diversify a typical local farmers staples crops with a range of locally sourced food crops to create a stacked tropical polyculture as a demonstration of food biodiversity that any local person can replicate. Then in August we will intercrop the second plot with moringa. We plan to keep good records of yields and conditions and will be feeding back our results to the Permaculture Association in the UK who are taking a keen interest in our research. Our aim is to demonstrate that interplanting with moringa enhances overall productivity and gives a financial return by supplying the HVAP initiative with moringa leaves.
Ecosystem Of Enterprises
We recognise that NPE needs a range of projects that interlink, supporting each other to create it’s own ecosystem for long term resilience. It is our intention to send permaculture designer and teacher, Kevin Mascarenhas of Natural Flow to NPE project to “train the trainers” in low tech tactical solutions for water harvesting, moisture retention and soil conservation strategies as well as supporting the international summer work camp and the HVAP trials. The UK team are currently fundraising for this and the other streams of activity already mentioned.
It is fortuitous that the CEO of Better World Cameroon, Joshua Konkankoh is with us in the UK right now. We are leveraging this opportunity to further this ecosystem by connecting to a host of talented, dynamic groups in the UK who are seeking symbiotic partnerships. Joshua is whizzing up and down the country making presentations, having meeting and taking a course in Findhorn to support the ongoing vision.
We continue to be blessed with great energy and dedicated team players, we are excited about the prospect of the ongoing relationships.