Could organic farming be a solution to make Sahara green again and fuel sustainable development?
Desertification, we identified as one of the great problems for the Sahara region. Another challenge is diversifying the food people eat. In February, we invited organic farming expert Helena Rundqvist to join us in Tagounite, Morocco. Together, we kickstarted three organic garden areas: one far out in the desert, one with a traditional farmer trying to inspire him to grow organic instead of using chemical fertilizers, and several where Nomad school children cultivated in mini green-houses (5L plastic bottles). The goal for this pilot is to turn sand into soil and grow food.
Helena Rundqvist shares:
“I humbly accepted the challenge to get the people here to choose a change, to motivate them, awake curiosity to try something new… I realize again how little you really need to survive. The community among people, all that we have in common, even if you do not have a lot, it´s wonderful to be a part of. I always felt welcome, well received and seen by everyone I met with honesty, respect and courtesy. To only be who I am, face to face, touches my heart deep within.
I share the Vilostrada Foundation vision and happiness to support these last Nomads living in the Sahara so that they can stay where they want to be. They have lived their life in the same traditions for thousands of years. We need to respect their rights and choices to continue the life they have chosen.”
We already know that our first growing organic gardens succeeded and hold the seeds for future greener Sahara. We invite you to join us in the Sahara, do research, share knowledge and to hold workshops to continue our project #OrganicTanmirt.
With the Vilostrada Foundation, we now sum up two months of adventures, stories, lessons and fruit our mutual labour in a book we call “Ki Krak: To Give, to Receive” planned to be published in December 2018.
Victoria Ahlén, digital educator and founder of the Vilostrada Foundation