Permaculture Roadshow2
 
The preparation of this business plan for the Department of Economic Development & Tourism outlined a holistic development process for some 60 Organic Small Grower Groups, that entailed training, site infrastructure, organic certification, marketing, logistics, institutional programme management, and, a pilot organic farm at Dube Trade Port, which is adjacent to the new King Shaka Airport.
 
Funding for this business plan was solicited within South Africa and also abroad, but unfortunately, has never been entirely funded.  Nonetheless, several aspects of this business plan have been funded by separate government entities, but the co-ordinated approach to arrange organic certification, marketing and supply chain logistics remain unfunded.
 
 

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This work followed through from several workshops jointly hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Economic Development who at the time were very keen to develop the organics industry in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.
 
Unfortunately, this initiative for the Province of KwaZulu-Natal was shelved since a similar initiative at National Government level was being mooted at the time. Nonetheless, this Provincial initiative did feed into the National initiative which was funded by the Trade and Industry Chamber Fund for Research into Industrial Development, Growth and Equity (FRIDGE), and which produced the report titled, “Study to Develop a Value Chain Strategy for Sustainable Development and Growth of Organic Agriculture” dated October 2008.
 

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Zulu Organics is a consortium comprising myself and 3 like minded NGOs that has been formed to provide a holistic one-stop shop development service to small scale emerging farmers.  The 3 NGOs are Newlands Mashu Permaculture Learning Centre, Rainman Landcare Foundation, and, the Zululand Centre for Sustainable Development. The vision of Zulu Organics is to enhance the principles of low external input sustainable agricultural (LEISA) practices as an affordable and ecologically sound way of developing small scale Zulu farmers in producing organically grown traditional and niche crops, thereby promoting food security and local economic development whilst maintaining indigenous lifestyles within rural areas.
 
Zulu Organics is capable of providing the following services;- business planning, training in organic farming systems, development of site infrastructure, organic certification, mentoring, and, marketing and distribution of organic products. The Zulu Organics consortium also acts as a network and often draws in team members to suit specific projects and also according to resource capacity.
 
Zululand Centre for Sustainable Development www.ecosystems.co.za/
 
Rainman Landcare Foundation www.rainman.co.za
 

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This paper was presented at the Sustainable Built Environment Conference (SBE2005) and explained how Permaculture design principles can enhance the sustainability of human settlements.
 
 
 

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This presentation was made at the Sustainable Built Environment Conference (SBE2006) and entailed a collection of rainwater harvesting designs from various projects, as well as a cost comparison.
 

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Permaculture Lectures
 
 
This is training material compiled for basic one-day introductory Permaculture courses and longer that unpack the Permaculture ethics, attitudes and design principles.
 
The training material also includes a presentation of my Permaculture project experiences in South Africa that shows the depth and width of holistic Permaculture applications, especially on large scale development projects.  These projects demonstrate how the basic Permaculture design principles can be extended from simple home gardens to the design of robust sustainable frameworks for organic farming, the built environment, and, for strategic planning studies.  This type of presentation was presented at the University of KwaZulu-Natal for students studying town planning and environment studies; at several Permaculture teaching courses; and more recently, at the “Sustainability Conference” at Mundekulla, Sweden, in July 2010.
 
 
 

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The network with Earth Mother Organics resulted in a reciprocal beneficiation wherein many small scale farmers were brought to visit the Earth Mother homestead in Assagay, Durban, in order to appreciate a flourishing Permaculture garden that provided much food security, whilst in return, I assisted Earth Mother Organics to prepare a business plan for their first shop in Hillcrest.  Earth Mother Organics is also one of the long standing anchor tenants at the Shongweni Farmers Market in Assagay and a strong supporter of small scale organic farmers.
 
 

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Cuba Cycling experience and relevance to Peak Oil and Climate Change
This presentation was made usually following the showing of the DVD “The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”.  The presentation included a slide show of the Cuba cycle experience and the relevance to Climate Change and Peak Oil.  Several of these presentations have been made.
 
Whilst in Cuba, I visited the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity NGO (www.fanj.cult.cu) which was instrumental in facilitating the introduction of Permaculture in Cuba and learnt much about how this initiative was implemented.  In exchange for this meeting, I prepared a proposal for the Campesinos of the Viñales Valley in Cuba to enhance traditional organic farming production systems.
 
 
 

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The Dukuduku project experience was presented as a case study at the Department of Agriculture Environment & Rural Development (DAERD) Strategic Planning Workshop held in mid-July 2009.  This presentation resulted in a call up by the DAERD to assist with the preparation of their Strategic Development Plan.  A draft concept strategy and poster were prepared but still need to be workshopped with DAERD senior management.  Alas, DAERD has been experiencing an institutional leadership crisis but it is hoped that when this settles down they will be able to engage their strategic planning statutory obligations.
 
 

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The presentation of the Dukuduku project case study at the Department of Agriculture Environment & Rural Development (DAERD) Strategic Planning Workshop held in mid-July 2009, also resulted in a call up by the Cedara Agricultural College to assist with the re-establishment of their Food Security Unit.   To this end, I presented some lectures on Permaculture basics and project applications to several classes.  This also entailed the Permaculture design framework for the 1 ha Food Security demonstration plot with design exercises to be undertaken by the students to complete the design details.
 

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Wirikuta is a place that “practices the emergence of sustainable living within community” and has put together an “itinerary for conversations that matter” as a way of sensitizing friends, neighbours and the greater community about sustainable lifestyles.  To this end, Wirikuta has established some good examples of sustainable development by building the New Moon Centre with a low ecological footprint; enhancements to an ecological sanitation system that recycles grey water for irrigation; and, by creating a Permaculture landscape of windbreaks, fruit, nut and indigenous trees, and vegetable growing areas.
 
This emerging sustainable environment at Wirikuta provides an ideal ambiance for showcasing some cutting edge documentaries about sustainability and also as a place for undertaking spiritual development courses.
 

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This Strategic Plan for the AMU is rooted in Permaculture / organic farming principles that promote sustainable agriculture, primarily for food security and secondly for local economic development.  eThekwini Municipality is one of the foremost municipalities in South Africa that has adopted the Permaculture / organic farming approach for its agricultural development initiatives.
 
 

 

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