Foundation targets crowd funding for Niue Soil School


A not-for-profit agricultural foundation is raising funds for its Niue Soil School using crowd funding.<!--more-->

Organic Matters Foundation (OMF) provides South Pacific farmers a viable, sustainable alternative to chemical agriculture delivering benefits directly to them and their families. It partners with South Pacific groups and individuals to deliver introductory and advanced “Soil School Training Programmes” that directly address local needs and challenges.

The Soil School is a training farm model that OMF has created to work alongside communities and farming groups throughout the Pacific Islands to assist with farming models through targeted hands on and practical learning that are sustainable and have positive outcomes for all.

The initiative assists with management of land degradation via improved land usage, reduction of pesticides and chemicals in food production and better management of land and resources. This is done through the introduction of sustainable farming practices, management tools and problem solving methodology frameworks.

The expected outputs following soil school are an increase in quality of food products, sustainable land use for future generations and the security of food as a continued income source.

Since 2010 OMF has been teaching the Soil School in Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tonga and has so far taught more than 800 students that now are multiplying their knowledge by teaching others. These communities are now producing their crops without any chemical input and are self-sustainable again.

OMF’s Mike Smith says, “We need to raise AU$40,000 to be able to teach 40 farmers from Niue that will then teach their neighbours and friends and communities. The Soil School runs for 10 days – that’s only AU$ 100 per farmer per day.

“And if we raise AU$ 60,000 we can take the soil school to Mauke &amp; Mitirao islands as well and teach another 40 farmers. By doing them together we can considerable reduce the costs of the second programme to only half of the cost.”

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