Pemba Permaculture cont’d

by Daimen Hardie on January 15, 2016

Demonstration food forest at the Rural Innovation Campus – Pemba, Zanzibar


Pemba island's first ever permaculture training has come to successful close - thanks again to everyone who made it possible.  Read on for a brief overview of the course highlights, and for news of permaculture systems taking shape at the Rural Innovation Campus.



Living in Canada where you can spend a lifetime watching a tree grow from seedling to maturity has always made me envious of how fast plants develop in the tropics.  I'm remined of this as I reflect on the growing permaculture site at our Rural Innovation Campus pictured above.  Aside from the large Mkuyu in the background, everything there was planted by local staff no more than 3 years ago.

When you witness this sort of rapid transformation, you can’t help but feel inspired by the potential to restore health to our environment.  Nature wants to thrive, and when we work with it – in our farms, our woodlots, our communities – we are rewarded, sooner or later, with abundance.


Agroforestry Officer, Ali Hamad Ali (far left), and Agricultural Officer, Siti Makame (far right), guide permaculture students at the Rural Innovation Campus  -  Pemba, Zanzibar

Working with nature was the focus of a recent short-course hosted by Community Forests Pemba.  This introductory training in permaculture, a design technique for tackling some of our biggest environmental challenges, was the first of its kind on the island and involved roughly 20 young farmers.  The course was led by expert instructor Joseph Ntunyoi from the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya and touched on themes such as Think Like Water and Problem Focus vs Solution Focus.


Staff and farmers collaborate on the design of model permaculture systems specially suited to Pemba - Zanzibar, Tanzania

The new trainees have already begun putting their skills to practice, designing systems for both the Rural Innovation Campus and on private farms across Pemba.  To learn more background on these innovative approaches to growing food and restoring the environment, check out our vision for the Spice Forest - a local adaptation of the permaculture 'food forest' technique.


Coppiced Moringa, a multipurpose soil-building tree, provides trellis for black pepper and vanilla vines in CFP's prototype Spice Forest - Pemba, Zanzibar


And finally, we're proud to report  that our in-house expert Siti Makame was recently invited to help teach a full-length Permaculture Design Certificate at the Practical Permaculture Institute of Zanzibar.  The extra capacity that Siti gained through our own recent trainings has enabled her to not only provide better support to farmers in Pemba, but to reach students in the wider Zanzibar region as well.  She's becoming a bit of an eco-celebrity, and we can't think of anyone more deserving.    We'll be sure to keep you posted as Pemba Permaculture continues to evolve.


Agricultural Officer, Siti Makame, demonstrates how to make natural pest-repellants using neem, hot pepper, ginger and garlic - Pemba, Zanzibar

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