Farming is essential to the well-being and sustenance indigenous villages. Cultures like the Dogon revere natural seeds and grain as sacred and central to their way of life and have mastered agricultural practices that heal and preserve the integrity of their lands and communities. The Seeds of Indigenous Life (SIL) program utilizes this ancient knowhow to protect the biodiversity and sustainability of the land and Dogon communities , while reversing the destructive effects of modern farming practices.
As a result of modernity and industrialization, neo-colonial influences continue to impact local villages and farmers. In recent years, the modern agricultural market and the onset of foreign agribusinesses have impacted farming communities by pressuring them to utilize genetically modified seeds, only grow specific cash crops, and to use fertilizers and pesticides to keep up with the impositions of the market.
This has compromised the natural fertility of the land, the preservation of ancient farming techniques and the diversity of crops, as well as the future sustainability of agriculture as a livelihood for these communities. This has also resulted in the outflow of youth to the cities and the dispersion of energies in village life, which threatens the preservation of the indigenous
culture and knowledge held in these communities.
The SIL project preserves ancient farming practices that are harmonious with the environment that promote the fertility of the soil, food security and live seed banks for the village community, and humanity for generations to come.
In Bonangana, near Sokode in Togo we have 10 hectares of land on which we are building a natural biodiverse farm, a live seed bank, and training center for indigenous agriculture practices and way of life. This farm is the first of many community farms that will become the core of the SOIL program going forward.
SEEDS OF INDIGENOUS LIFE CENTER (SOIL)
Following the purchase of the land we have built:
Initial structures that include a animal farm residence building, side building for people to care for the farm, house some equipment
A deep well with elevated water tower water tank and a solar panel pump
A working one hectare vegetable farm
In addition, we have assisted another farmer in the community to produce crops and vegetables 12 months of the year.
We will expand the natural farm from one to four hectares. We will take care of the water cycle to minimize flooding, erosion and support natural irrigation.
By enlarging the farming space, we are able to secure community sovereignty over natural seeds for future generations. We will assist the restoration of indigenous agriculture through the results and our training facilities of indigenous practices combined with the seed nursery and seed storage facility that support communities in the region.