Being born and raised in an agricultural family and growing up in a hilly and underdeveloped part of Nepal, we never adopted the green revolution in our farming system. However, I had the opportunity of learning about permaculture at an early age. Originated by Bill Mollison from Australia, Mr. Mollison traveled around Nepal and found sustainable methods for crop production and crop protection, focusing on healthy production, fair share, eco-friendly crop protection and maintaining an ecological balance to achieve sustained agriculture production.
I believe that the pest problem of today could be the result of over use or inappropriate use of pesticides. My idea for sustainable crop protection is to provide an alternative to pesticides by adopting the principles of Permaculture. It may be that eco-friendly methods of plant protection can protect our health, wealth and ecosystem.
Permaculture uses different methods of pest control. In my farm, we use many herbs, we use many different cropping practices like mixed cropping, crop rotation, and P4 plantation. We use simple and practical examples like use of light to fight nocturnal insects, the use of a mixture of plant extracts to fight flying insects, traps and sex attractants to manage flies and many more. In using the principles of permaculture we haven’t had any crop failure because of pests for more than 10 years.
Currently I am actively engaged in advocating these methods to farmers in Nepal and abroad. I facilitate training and demonstrations for farmers from different parts of Nepal and abroad to show the practical application of different methods at the field level. I believe if the whole world would adopt permaculture then sustainability isn’t far away. It’s a hard way to get there, but I am ready to take that challenge as I believe that’s what life is for.
Permaculture focuses on local resources and diversity. Diversity in farm means diversity in supermarket and diversity in what everyone consumes. The central focus of my idea is to help people be aware people about how we can be helpful in attaining food system sustainability .
How will I do this?
I am already involved in promoting the concept of permaculture. I am doing it though training and exposure visits to farmers of Nepal and to agriculture enthusiasts from 85 countries. Now, I want to take it to the next step and promote further on social media through blog and videos, documenting all these ecofriendly practices wherever available. I’d like to reach a wider audience about the concept of permaculture, not just for crop protection but for sustainable production in general. Often people are using chemicals because no one has given them alternative. I truly believe permaculture is a great alternative.
This idea benefits all around us. Adopting permaculture means adopting healthy behavior to achieve earth care, people care and fair share.
To achieve the results, I will visit permaculture sites around globe (directly or virtually) to document success stories and promote successful practices through online and mass medias. The key stakeholders would be permaculture and organic farming practitioners from around the globe, social media experts, mass media and I/NGOs & government. In today’s world, people believe in facts, not philosophy and this is where organic farming and permaculture is lagging behind compared to chemical based crop production. Through this project we will synthesize and analyze facts on permaculture and organic farming and provide farmers with a practical foundation to step into permaculture.
Why am I passionate about this idea?
When I first learned about permaculture, I thought it was a form of agriculture. But as I explored it more deeply, I realized agriculture and farming is just a small slice of permaculture. Permaculture connects our life and farming with ecology, society, science and natural phenomena. In the world, we have isolated our agriculture as an individual entity, but in fact it has interwoven links with nature, ecosystem, community and much more. We need to connect these links and make them stronger. Permaculture, while focusing on farming, also deals about climate change adoption, risk management, more output for less work and many more aspects which the conventional agriculture doesn’t seem to address. As we are aim for true sustainability, and looking forward for pest management, we should remember other factors which directly or indirectly support pest management. This is where Permaculture kicks in, to connect those links.
Bibek Dhital, Nepal