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Ghana Permaculture Institute Headquarters
The broad acceptance and knowledge of permaculture as a study, practice and lifestyle came to Ghana officially through Ghana Permaculture Institute (GPI). It began in 2004 when GPI was a network (GPN) established to connect and work with rural dwellers, low-income and small-scale farmers in Ghana.
As the work progressed, GPI recognised the need to create a space
where permaculture activities and practices could be implemented and showcased to students, farmers and other people in the community. The development of the demonstration and education centre has allowed individuals to gain practical knowledge and experience, going beyond the usual, theoretical methods of teaching. This has proven effective in sharing essential permaculture practices to all, including the non-literate.
In 2010 the demonstration site, located in Tanoboase, was founded by Dr Paul Yeboah.
The land was degenerated and the soil was very poor, but using his permaculture knowledge, Paul slowly improved the site, digging swales and reservoirs for water, improving the soil and planting a variety of medicinal and food crops.
Today the site hosts 35 full-time staff members and ten part-time employees, creating an avenue for young people to learn and adopt the lifestyle and practices of permaculture, in time, offering them the opportunity to become teachers and facilitators. Everyone is working to regenerate the land further and ensure the smooth running of the institute. From here we facilitate educational workshops and courses as well as hosting visitors.
Since 2004 the Institute has set up 50 community tree nurseries and continues to offer, advice and training to local farmers. Currently we are networking with over 8,000 farmers.
We share permaculture knowledge with schools, teaching children about health care, earth care and enterprise. Through our tree nursery project we donate trees to schools, community organisations, and farmers. In 2008 we donated over 35,000 trees to the United Nation Trees for Africa program and continue to give away thousands of trees, teaching people how to design food gardens and control the severe erosion and degeneration of the environment around their homes.
From 2013-2018, we implemented sustainable development projects with the Southern Network for Environmental Development and BMZ (German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) through which we expanded our network to West African Countries such as Togo and Burkino Faso.
The institute continues its promote the permaculture principles through the addition of more ecological projects such as alternative medicine research , mushroom spawn production moringa farming and honey processing.
We are currently working with local farmers, women's groups and schools sharing practical permaculture education that is immediately implemented through land-based design and enterprise.
WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT IN GHANA AND THROUGHOUT AFRICA?
Earth’s ecosystems are in crises. Many people are living in poverty and continue to use the land in such a way that degrades our natural environment. This is especially prevalent in Ghana and throughout Africa.
In rural areas, within Ghana and across its borders, individuals and communities face underemployment due to lack of opportunity and malnutrition due to food scarcity.
The natural environment is suffering because of over-use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers meaning that crops often fail to produce a substantial yield.
Practices such as logging and mono-culture farming are also having a terrible effect on the land here in Ghana, resulting in mass-deforestation, leaving land barren and desertified.
Youths and young adults are consistently faced with challenges when seeking employment and lack the practical skills necessary to forge a sustainable future for themselves and for their families.
Through permaculture we can solve these problems. We simply have to train people to design and implement sustainable systems, for the land, for the people and in enterprise. All it takes is direct action on the ground using permaculture design and education.