Peace Corps Permagarden Training – Madagascar

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This project has been completed.

The third training of our Permagarden Training Initiative – Worldwide will take place in February 2018. Peter Jensen will train Peace Corps Volunteers and staff in Madagascar with his Terra Firma Permagardens for Empowerment and Resilience course. Here is an outline of what we intend to accomplish in this monumental initiative to spread permaculture technology across the globe.

Trainer: Peter Jensen, Agroecology and Permagarden Training Specialist

What: Five Day Permagarden Staff and Volunteer Training and Training Design Creation

Where: Mantasoa, Madagascar

When: February 4-10, 2018

Who: 15 Agriculture PCVs, 5 Program Staff, 4 Support Staff

 Peace Corps Madagascar requested assistance in the creation of a thorough Training Design and Evaluation Process that will guide the sustainable agriculture and nutrition security work of current and future Peace Corps Volunteers. We are happy to provide resources to enable this important effort.

During the course of the training, Peter will highlight the role of the Terra Firma process in future projects, and assist interested Peace Corps Volunteers in the planning for future water and sanitation projects. These may include, for example, water systems, rainwater catchment and storage systems, irrigation projects, and latrines.

Terra Firma Permagardens are family-oriented, nutrition-focused, climate-smart, organic gardens. They serve as the missing link between seasonal agricultural production and the daily, nutrient-dense, food consumption needs of marginalized rural, urban and peri-urban families. In order to achieve daily nutrition security of mother, child, and extended family, agricultural techniques must be ‘climate-smart’. This concept forms the key pillars of any Permagarden Training: Adaptation, Mitigation, and Intensification.

These goals have a number of critical action steps which are small and doable following the Rule of CLOSE so as to achieve attitude and eventual behavior change amongst those directly trained and those who will be trained within the community outreach program that will follow the training via the PCVs and their village counterparts. These actions from the basis of the Terra Firma Method: Assess, Capture, Protect, Produce, Manage.

All ‘Terra Firma’ actions are close to the home, locally sourced, organic, small and easy so as to achieve a “53-week” harvest cycle by even the most marginalized individuals. This is achieved through the rational, step by step, water management strategy whereby the subsoil becomes the cistern. The Six Steps of Successful Water Management form a further key theme throughout this practical training: Stop, Slow, Sink, Spread, Save and Shade. With these steps practiced, observed and maintained, the severity of both climate and climate change is mitigated for long-term landscape and nutritional resilience.

The training methodology is designed to reach resilient family-based daily nutrition security, resilient water, and landscape management, and increased maternal income.

Specific topics include compost and carbon soil food, berms and swales, and soil health and double digging.

A Perma garden will be created during the training that maximizes water capture and nutrition. This will serve as a model for future projects.

An outreach plan for Peace Corps Madagascar, along with recommendations for monitoring and evaluation of outcomes and impacts, will be prepared.

Peace Corps Volunteers will gain facilitation skills to enable them to effectively teach vulnerable family members or small groups on how to create and manage Climate-Smart, Nutrition-Focused Permagardens in Madagascar.

Peace Corps Madagascar will provide all transportation while in Madagascar, all local materials required for the training sessions, and all costs of the Peace Corps Staff and Trainees.

Water Charity funds will provide funds for all other costs necessary to carry out the training.

Although this project has been fully funded by an anonymous donor, your contribution using the button below will be used for our next permaculture training project in Africa.

Conclusion and Update
This project was completed in January 2018 according to the plan.

In September 2018, Peter returned to Madagascar, and sent the following report:

Had a great week with Peace Corps Madagascar! As a result of our week together back in January (provided by Water Charity they are pleased to acknowledge) they have provided an excellent training to the latest cadre of Ag Trainees (now in service). 6 of those who received this training returned for further Training of Trainers guidance this week as well as providing solid feedback on how the Terra Firma Agroecological Resilience Method will form the entire foundation of the new Agriculture Framework which will be in place 2019 – 2024!

We are grateful to Peter for completing this great collaboration with the Peace Corps.