Thanks to your generous donations, PA’s Permafund has supported 59 projects in 17 countries. Each month we’ll bring you a wrap up of some of the projects being supported, so you can follow their progress and fantastic outcomes.
They say a picture tells a thousand words, so scroll through and check out the photo updates shared from Sustainable Communities Kenya. The team have been busy training farmers in organic farming skills, with more activities still occurring before the crop harvest occurs in July and August, and “are happy how our farmers have benefits so much because of the Permafund grant.”
The IRDS Project team in India have completed the training for fifty rural tribal farmers in growing tomatoes, brinjal, beans and castor oil and provision of seeds. This included a focus on eco friendly farm inputs, low cost crop tonics, and intercropping. Criteria used to determine the farmers included: young, has interest to try new methods in agriculture especially the integrated agriculture, allocate time to training and other project related activities, and has land to practice the new permaculture skills.
“IRDS expresses its sincere thanks to PA’s Permafund for their partnership. The farmers are taking care of their cultivation crops now, and they are happy to raise various crops in their lands that will ensure diverse crops and various out come as a result for their sustainable livelihoods.”
The reality and impact of COVID in India, was shared in the project update from Aranya India, with many team members, family and the project communities negatively impacted by COVID directly.
“The situation here isn’t as great. Many of our family, friends , staff and the farming community have been affected with COVID. We have started working on the one acre permaculture projects, however couldn’t continue with the sudden resurge in COVID cases. The villagers shut their boundaries and are not stepping out of their homes whatsoever. However, we have managed to work a little bit with the help of our ground level staff and volunteers. As the monsoon is nearing, we have procured the plants for plantations and earthworks have started.”
And finally, we are thrilled to introduce a new project in Zambia. The Youth Empowerment for Development Initiative (YEDI) plans to train rural communities to improve land, become more resilience and sustainably produce food using permaculture principles.
Permafund will follow YEDI’s progress with interest, as its goals of land conservation and permaculture ideas may provide lessons for many projects in such hot, subtropical areas with limited rainfall.
For more information:
PA’s Permafund provides small grants for permaculture projects implemented by community organisations across the globe. Since 2012, we have supported 59 projects in 17 countries, thanks to generous donations. Permaculture Australia is a registered charity and registered environmental organisation, and donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia. To find out more, including how to donate here.
In 2018 the Integrated Rural Development Society (IRDS) of the Salem District, Tamil Nadu successfully applied for a Permfund micro grant to conduct training workshops for 50 tribal farmers from the Mannur, Alamarathukadu, and Poomarathupatti villages in the Kalrayan Hills.
Farmers with an interest in permaculture and new agriculture methods were identified with the help of farmer leaders before being introduced to the project’s goals and main activities.
Seed varieties shared during workshop
A series of workshops were conducted covering permaculture and organic agriculture methods to maximise return from the same land in multiple ways, the control of weeds by intercropping, making liquid fertiliser to increase micro-organisms in the soil and water harvesting to improve soil moisture.
Liquid fertiliser demonstration
Seeds and seedlings were distributed to increase the diversity of vegetable and indigenous grain crops being cultivated. The project has helped the farmers lessen their reliance on outside inputs and improve their harvests for better food security.
Intercropping increasing yields
On behalf of the tribal farmers, the IRDS team has expressed their sincere thanks to Permaculture Australia and Permafund for the partnership, cooperation and support that’s enabled the organisation to implement this important project in their community.
The activities of the Integrated Rural Development Society include raising awareness of the importance of protective, preventive health practices including providing clean drinking water and good sanitation. Other major issues addressed by the organisation are the empowerment of women, environmental protection, HIV and AIDS awareness and health development through alternate medical practices such as naturopathy and yoga practices.
In the 2018-19 grant round, Permafund supported the Women’s Organisation for Rural Development (WORD) in India with a micro-grant for their project to help marginal farmers cultivate grains and indigenous millets and create a seed bank for future crops.
Based in the Indian Namakkal District of Tamil Nadu, the project reached 225 farmers in targeted villages where rain-fed agriculture is predominant. In the growing season 150 farmers were provided with sorghum and millet to cultivate on their land and 75 farmers sowed maize. All of the harvests improved food security for the villages.
Harvested seeds saved for the next crop
The farmers’ harvest returned double the quantity of grains and millet seeds to WORD’s seed bank ready for the July 2020 to February 2021 growing season.
WORD officially formed in 1991 based on an 80’s movement of young women inspired by the spirit of the Gandhian Boodan Movement of the 60’s. That movement had attempted to persuade wealthy landowners to voluntarily give a percentage of their land to landless people.
Among the motivations for WORD has been the appalling plight of the Dalits, who are among the most marginalised and deprived populations. Another challenge is the rising degradation and depletion of the natural resources which marginal villages rely on for their livelihoods.
Permaculture Australia’s Permafund is very grateful for your thoughtful, kind and generous donations over the past days, weeks, months and years.
We are pleased to announce that the focus of Permafund’s 2020 grant round will be on the recovery from extreme weather events, including bushfires, plus designing for disaster in preparedness for the future. The recent crises here in Australia and internationally demand a response and a donation to Permafund is a meaningful way to contribute.
Permafund Chair, John Champagne of Bega Valley explains, “Permafund has been active over the past eight years assisting small NGO’s around the world with their permaculture initiatives. It’s important now to focus on the crisis we’ve experienced from extreme weather events and assist local permaculture groups effectively assist their communities in this time of need.”
Echidna hunting for water during the bushfires
The total of the donations made to Permafund at present is just short of the amount that triggers a micro grant round.
The Permafund team is calling for donations to help boost this total as high as possible before the 2020 grant round is opened for applications.