As part of our collective effort to build a sustainable income generation mechanism, we are working with local communities on a number of sustainable agriculture projects that embrace traditional regenerative principles.
Wet Rice Paddies
Our partners are supporting families and communities in the creation of wet rice systems by providing the materials required for the water supply (such as pipes) and for storing the harvest. The small-scale cultivation of wet rice generates higher yields for fewer hours of work and can considerably reduce the amount of slash-and-burn forest clearance. In addition to the collection and preparation of knowledge on wet rice cultivation, it is also particularly important to train selected, locally-based people. The latter can then organize themselves to expand on and disseminate the knowledge over the long term. When it comes to the transfer of knowledge, it is vital to have teaching and learning materials in the Penan language. This will ensure that the knowledge is accessible to a large number of people and can be used independently of specially trained individuals.
We are running a pilot project to assist community farmers in establishing small-scale coffee plantations with the partnership of local coffee roasters and distributors. By integrating coffee plants within the natural agroforestry systems of traditional Indigenous farming in the Upper Baram, planters are able to increase their income opportunities while remaining in line with sustainable principles of low-inputs and organic farming.
Land Use Planning
Participatory land use planning supports communities in shaping sustainable resource management. In communities whose resources have already been overused, it contributes towards the regeneration of the soil, for example, while in other communities it prevents the potential degradation of resources. The planning is based, among other things, on the maps produced by the communities themselves alongside partner mapping teams and on aerial photographs taken by the mapping drone.