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Forest garden program through total ecosystem mangement for Sri Lanka and the Philippines

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:11 AM
Contributors: Bruce M. Beehler

The Forest Garden Program through Total Ecosystem Management was a five-year program, ending in 9/2002, funded by a matching grant from Counterpart International and USAID. The overall goal was to improve the quality of life for rural people, and to restore biodiversity in rural areas. This report was written after one year had been completed. It gives an overview of progress, numerous details regarding project implementation, site locations, plant species used, plant and wildlife species found at project sites and future tasks. The project employed a Total Ecosystem Management technique called Analog Forest Gardening. This planting technique aims at creating a garden dominated by trees with a physical structure that is analogous to a forest. Many species found in the original forest can continue to live in the garden habitat, while cash crops are also cultivated and extracted. Despite shortfalls in funding, the project achieved many successes in its first year due to motivated volunteers. Strong ties were established in the community, a gardening certification system was developed, and families that established gardens were connected with purchasers. Many rural family incomes increased after introduction of programs such as vegetable cultivation, seed collection and nursery development. The authors cautioned against letting the volunteers over-commit to too many aspects of the project, for fear that quality of individual programs might suffer and detract from the project's overall reputation and effectiveness. At the first year, information management needed to be improved and was seen as the key to success of this project. Land tenure emerged as a priority concern, as did the need to include communities in planning and formulation/reformulation of policies. There was also a need for technical information regarding crop production. Convincing people to grow food organically was also a challenge, since the use of pesticides and fertilizers was considered fundamental in local agricultural practices.

Author(s): Bruce M. Beehler

Publication Date: 1998

Location: Sri Lanka

Download File from Portal: PDABR030 SriLanka Phil.pdf — PDF document, 9,147 kB (9,367,176 bytes)

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