The four-year ‘Sustainable Economic and Agricultural Learning’ (SEAL) project launched by the Adventist Day Relief Agency (ADRA-Mongolia) in 2011 was a regional initiative which focused on the household garden within the family compound as the building blocks of economic development:
- Achieve self-subsistence by increase family’s food security. First, we focussed on equipping beneficiaries who had demonstrated leadership qualities within their communities to maximize potential flow-on benefits to extended family & friends.
- Develop locally appropriate best practices for organic farming and land stewardship to create a surplus yield. Next, we equipped these community leaders with tools and training to increase their own household’s ability to produce more of its own food through community-based, appropriate & replicable design of organic, small-scale-intensive agricultural practices, which build soil fertility and steward water resources.
- Design systems which utliize locally available materials and skills which can therefore be replicated by others to build community resilience. Then, we supported these beneficiaries to create surplus produce which can be bartered, sold, or processed into nutrient-rich, food like dried staples, fermented preserves, or value-added products such as jams, jellies, and sauces.
- Create microenterprise which cycle energy and resources into local economies. Finally, family microenterprises can be generated from this surplus which create and cycle economic energy directly into the region’s communities.
12 core staff were trained in year 1 to train 600 beneficiary families with basic permaculture design skills to implement home gardens utilizing drip irrigation, integrated root cellars, and passive solar green houses. A local scholar who had been researching extreme-cold tolerant crops adapted to the area attended the initial training and was able to support the project by providing an species palate beneficiary households could utilize from day one.
As the SEAL project entered into its final year of operation in 2014, over 6,000 households in the target area had been positively impacted by the project as the simple, appropriate technologies utilized in beneficiary home gardens replicated out to the broader community.
Download the full 2011 project report here.
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