Improving life and the environment

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) “Scientific evidence shows that ecosystems are under unprecedented pressure, threatening prospects for sustainable development. While the challenges are daunting, they also provide opportunities for local communities, business and government to innovate for the benefit of communities, economies and the global environment.”[1]

The Nimer Family belongs to the indigenous Manobo tribe of people in Barangay Lamalama, the Philippines. They have a one-hectare farm but only a small portion of the area was farmed due to soil depletion caused by the continuous planting of the same crop every year. The couple didn’t have the skills or knowledge to solve the problem. As a result, with minimal income from poor crops,  the family was unable to thrive.

To achieve a better outcome, the couple attended training on Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) together with other families at Global Development Group project J490N ‘Noble Endeavours Community Development Project’.

By implementing a strategy of “multi-cropping”, they gained knowledge on crop rotation and planting that would ensure the continuous production of income generating cash crops. This included planting permanent fruit trees and rubber trees to prevent soil erosion, as well as providing an additional income-producing crop.

With the technical assistance, the provision of nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs seeds, this couple have transformed their land in just six months to provide lush green forage to feed their goats, a cropping strategy to control erosion and introduce organic composting on their land. A goat barn has been built and the family has been supplied with five pregnant Anglo Nubian milking goats as part of a complete farming strategy.

One year ago their average monthly income was approximately AUD $45.45. Within months of receiving training their situation changed. With ongoing support of the project J490N team, they have successfully established a mixed farm of cash and food crops and a goat milking business. Their income more than doubled within six months. Additional annual income will be generated from the sale of baby goats that Noble Endeavours will buy to supply other farmers joining the program.

The partnerships between the J490N team and local farming families like this one are improving the environment and building sustainable livelihoods for families.

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