Welcome to the S39 Academy
The aim is sharing of knowledge and experience whilst building a practical mutual support network.
January 1st 2020
Thanks and recognition to:
- Arkleton trust
- Permaculture Association Britain
- Permaculture Research Institute Uganda
- Hub Cymru Africa
- Wales for Africa program
- PermoAfrica Centre
- Rwandan Women’s Permaculture
- Eastern Uganda permaculture Organization
In 2011 S39 were invited by local charity Dolen Ffermio to help host a visit from 6 farming pioneers from Uganda. Friendships and connections developed and we returned to visit when invited in 2014, leading directly to our first full permaculture design course held in Kamuli, Uganda in 2016. A very interesting Wales/ Africa relationship around permaculture seems to be developing and we are supporting each other to accelerate change and make training and resources available, as well creating channels for people to relate their own permaculture stories.
Permaculture has a huge potential to take off in a very big way in East Africa where between 70% – 90% of people are subsistence farmers, working small plots of land, or maybe as employees the main retirement plan is to return to farming. The only training or alternative on offer to farmers seems to be intensification, larger farms, imported seeds and fertility financed by loans, there has to be another way..
The potential for permaculture in an African context is vast. In both rural and urba situations it is a design approach that can create genuinely new opportunities for food and livelihood, drawing mainly on available local resources and knowledge.
Permaculture design approach resonate strongly with traditional values, many whicht have been strongly eroded by globalisation. What we have experienced in East Africa, a region of small farmers and low incomes is that there is very little investment in subsistence farming. Most seem to grow the same few crops in the same few ways which exacerbates vulnerability to price fluctuations, erratic weather and climate change. Investing in resilient farming methods, expanding crop diversity, staggering seasons, adding value and building long term fertility with organic methods is all part of the permaculture approach.
Permaculture is an established methodology, with its roots in 1970’s Australia and traditional knowledge. Permaculture pioneer Bill Mollison captured the core ecological and social ideas in the seminal publication Permaculture Designers Manual.
From this set of ideas the Permaculture Design Certificate course was created, as a means to concisely and reliably convey the core of these ideas. S39 has been teaching these courses and using the methodology to created projects of all shapes and sizes before linking in with our Africa colleages.
Investing in people, through permaculture
Permaculture believes in people power, with training, support and practical examples people can quickly learn new ways or rediscover old ones. Activities that work and produce a good yield tend to have a reinforcing feedback loop built into them, hence the power of permaculture to self replicate.