Time flies, only one week left for this trip in Burkina. I did not travel much this past week. We spent time interviewing candidates for a new commercial person in the local organization.
Permaculture and Biodynamics
We went to see Daouda Oauttara, a farmer close to the city of Banfora. It is like a little paradise for plants and trees.
First there is water very close to the ground surface the whole year round, so he can produce all year round on his 5,5 hectares. Then he does not use pesticide or fertilizer. He has also created a protecting belt around his fields to protect them from the chemical products used by his neighbors.
He has many fruit trees and plants all growing in harmony with each other: citronella, avocado trees, koka trees, oranges, sweet potatoes, pineapples and many more.
I am not sure what to call this type of agriculture. Below some possible definitions from the “journal of Ecologist”.
Biodynamic agriculture: “this practice of farming is something that is all encompassing and has to work to incorporate the whole – the universe, all the community of farmers, animals, and nature. Thus all aspects of the farm and surrounding cosmology are considered carefully in Biodynamic agriculture; ( stars and moon phases as well as the breeds and species of plants).
Permaculture: are systems or gardens modelled on patterns observed in nature. Structures, access and water systems are also designed to be energy efficient and well placed with a focus on the relationships between elements of a system rather than on individual components themselves.
Biodynamic agriculture and Permaculture differ greatly in terms of farming practices; the former is considered to be ‘beyond’ organic while the latter is not necessarily organic. Biodynamic farming has restrictions on chemical and intensive farming methods, while Permaculture relies on good planning and the know-how and sensibility of the system’s farmers and communities.”
Most of his production is bought by a well-known African traditional pharmacopoeia laboratory of Dr. Dakuyo. The prices he gets for his biologic productions are well above the market price for such goods.
This confirms my thinking that permaculture and biodynamic culture is only for small scale farming and with a relatively small number of people depending of the harvest. There also is a need of a specialized market for the goods produced. Difficult to have all farmers applying these methods.
In any case it was very nice to walk among those fields.
Citations of the week
If dishonest people understood the advantage to be honest, they would become honest by dishonesty.
Honesty is the greatest of mischiefs, because it is the only one that the bad guys do not foresee.
Alexandre Dumas son
Take good care of you,