Our Vision for The Ghana Permaculture Institute
Welcome to Ghana. Our vision is to continue and expand the positive action of on the ground earth restoration and care of people that the Ghana permaculture network is currently doing. Our aim is to buy land to establish a working permaculture farm. We need to construct accommodation and classrooms and other infrastructure, so that we can have a large research and demonstration site for permaculture techniques that is also a training center capable of taking large numbers of people. This will be the Ghana Permaculture Institute (GPI).
We will look for degraded sites, the reason being to restore their land into a well designs functional permaculture system to show that lands can be restored. Using simple low cost strategies we can restore landscapes anywhere.
The centre will be demonstrating different methods of permaculture design and applying strategies for garden agriculture and small-scale farming. Examples will range from a small simple traditional house and garden, a 0.5 to 1 hectare farm and also larger systems to cover the range of landscapes that local people are using to grow food and farm in. People will be able to come and see these models working in real life, see them, stand inside them, and feel the abundance.
Our plan is to have accommodation for 50 students to come and stay to train for 6 months (we will have 2 intakes a year) and go on to complete over two years a Diploma in Permaculture. The first year they would complete their Permaculture certificate and work on the farm and also go out locally to teach permaculture to schools and teach, network and build relationships in the villages in the local bio-region.
The second year they would go out in pairs and work in a bio-regions across Ghana, working with subsistence farmers and in urban and rural villages and local schools. In this time they will have to teach 6 permaculture courses in the year. Our goal is to teach local communities to retrofit their communities into well designed ecological villages using functional permaculture design strategies as well as their local knowledge.
After they graduate we would hope to employ some of the graduates for one year on basic salaries in Ghana of $50 to $100 a month. We would also develop and be operating the GPI profit trust and offering consultancy in permaculture design and village development to governments and the private sector, including the large mining sector and aid organisation operating in Ghana. At the end of the third year the graduates would then become independent and have to find work for themselves or form their own businesses. Some may wish to return to families and apply their new skills on their own farm. Our goal is to build up a network of well trained and qualified permaculture teachers, designers, and consultants to work in Ghana and spread out into Africa.
Most Ghanaian students will come from a financially disadvantaged backgrounds. We hope to be able to provide them full tuition and accommodation using funds raised by international fee-paying students from the overdeveloped world, and also from income generated from sale of farm produce and other permaculture businesses associated with GPI, such as the moringa soap. There will be different fee grades and students will be means tested and also have to submit an application letter and explain their reasons and past experiences and motivation for wanting a place at the institute.
We welcome international students wanting to learn about permaculture, sustainable tropical agriculture and sustainable community development. We can take students on internship programs as part of their university studies and can provide all the necessary paperwork. In 2011 we will host interns from Germany, for which they will receive university credit towards their degree.
Since 2004 we have also been teaching the 2 week Permaculture Design Course (PDC) to students who come from North America, certified by the Australian Permaculture Institute.
This gives a rough outline of the budget we need. Currency conversion figures will change over time, but this gives a general idea.
Land Purchase: 10 acres/ 4 hectares = GHC30,000 /USD$19,677
Accommodation 50 students =GHC50,000 /USD$32,800
Classroom =GHC10,000 /USD$6,560
Kitchen and eating area =GHC 5,400/USD$3,550
Staff accommodation 3 small houses =GHC47,640/USD$31,250
Storage and tool sheds =GHC 5,000/USD$3,280
Animal housing =GHC15,000/USD$9,840
Work shop =GHC17,500/USD$11,480
GRAND TOTAL =GHC190,540/USD$124,980/GBP£77,200
We need to start to put our hands in our pockets and support teaching and demonstration sites in the developing world. Consider that in North America or Europe you can get a cup of coffee for 3 to 5 dollars or Euros. That 3 to 5 dollars in the underdeveloped world can have amazing results.
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