[permaculture] Know of any projects here ?

Pacific Edge Permaculture + Media pacedge at magna.com.au
Wed Jul 31 03:27:22 EDT 2002

On Wednesday, July 31, 2002, at 09:28  AM, Claude Genest wrote:

> Hi all,
> Does anyone know of any EXCELLENT PC projects going on in any of the
> following sepcific locations?

Melanesia – New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji

Hi Claude...
The Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) is currently working in the Solomon 
Islands. It grew from the Kastom Garden Programme (KGP) that, until 
2000, was supported by Australian NGO APACE (Appropriate Technology for 
Community and Environment) until it opted out of agricultural assistance 
in that year.

APACE was also involved in microhydroelectric development, mainly in the 
Solomons and in one instance in PNG. APACE closed down last year. I was 
employed by APACE in project management and development education until 

The KGP was financed through AusAID, the Australian government's aid 
funding body, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Following APACE's withdrawal from agricultural assistance and support 
for the KGP, the KGA was established in the Solomons as a local NGO and 
operates as a trust with a local board of management.

The present phase of work is supported via financial assistance from 
European Union Micro Projects office.

The KGA focuses on improving the food security of rural communities 
through training in small scale sustainable agriculture of the type 
known in the development aid industry as LEISA - Low External Input 
Sustainable Agriculture. People in developed countries would recognise 
this as a permaculture approach to farming because it is from LEISA that 
much of the permaculture approach to food production has been drawn. The 
term 'permaculture' is not used because it is unknown inn the Solomons 
and throughout the region.

The KGA approach is participatory, making use of established techniques 
familiar to NGO workers such as community food security assessment and 
participatory rural appraisal.

The APACE phase of the programme started in 1994 with the Lalano High 
Altitude Farming Project. Work has been ongoing since then, initially 
through a series of AusAID-supported projects: The Kastom Garden Project 
(on Guadalcanal and Malaita island); the Lauru Kastom Garden Project 
(set up to raise additional AusAID funding to take the project work into 
Choiseul island, near Bougainville) and the Community Ethnobotanical 
Manual project which documented the bush food resource of central 

During this period, the Solomon Islands Planting Material Network (PMN) 
was set up and continues its work today. Essentially, the PMN is a 
farmer-led seed saving, processing and distrubution network for 
non-hybrid seed which aims to increase regional self-reliance in 
planting material. In my opinion, the PMN is probably the most 
successful component in a successful programme of agricultural 

Since its inception in 1995, the intention has been to boost the 
sustainability of the programme through training local staff and 
improving organisational capacity. This has proven a successful 
approach, with local women like Roselyn Kabu, who started in 1995 as a 
volunteer, now managing the work and Mary Timothy, who started as a seed 
curator, now managing the PMN's work.

The only Australian staff is Tony Jansen, a manager of the programme.

The organic gardening manual for the Solomon Islands, 'Sapa', was 
published in 1995 as the joint work of Tony Jansen and local organic 
farmer, Joini Tutua.

As I write, a manual for seed saving trainers in the Solomons (and 
useable elsewhere in the Pacific) written by Australian seed system 
consultant Emma Stone, who carried out training for the PMN, and that I 
edited and my partner Fiona designed is on its way to Honiara, capital 
of the Solomons.

We are at present working on an integrated pest management manual, 
written by Roselyn Kabu, that may be published by the South Pacific 
Commission. Another manual with competency-based teaching notes for the 
series of workshops offered by the KGA is nearing finalisation but 
awaits financial support for publication.

Following the decade-long civil war with PNG which ended only a few 
years ago, there has been interest from a people in the mountains of 
central Bougainville in extending the agricultural training and seed 
saving into their area.

More recently, the KGA has been working with TaroGen, a project to 
document the diversity of the root crop Taro in the region.

As for PNG, there is nothing that I know of that fits your criteria. In 
the late 1990s I was project manager for CanCare Lae, a non-ferrous 
metals recycling project supported by AusAID funding.

There was also a project based at a hospital at Tari in the Central 
Highlands of PNG that provided training in food security and small scale 
agriculture but it is at present in abeyance.

Hope this info is of some use to you.

...Russ Grayson
Pacific Edge Media; TerraCircle regional development team
Sydney, Australia.
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