Permaculture Design and Business Plan for Sustainable Livelihoods Programming: Low-Cost, Sustainable Solutions for Food and Nutrition Insecure Agro Pastoral Communities in Jordan
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Masnat El-Hiary, Boubaker Dhehibi, Omama Al Hadidi, Malek Abo-Roman, Ala Abdallat, Majdy Adwan, Ala Awaideh. (25/1/2021). Permaculture Design and Business Plan for Sustainable Livelihoods Programming: Low-Cost, Sustainable Solutions for Food and Nutrition Insecure Agro Pastoral Communities in Jordan. Lebanon: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
There is a serious threat posed to human survival by food insecurity, especially among vulnerable communities such as agropastoral living in dry land areas. The overwhelming effects of the land degradation, low productivity, and food insecurity in the agropastoral farming systems have again called attention to the need for a longer-term response to the problems of food security and rural development in the agropastoral dry areas. Evidenced climate change threats, water scarcity, and resources degradations are the main factors that have exacerbated these problems. They will continue to do so until more sustainable responses are in place. Solving these problems will require an integrated approach that encompasses the main themes of this volume. These include managing productive resources throughout the climate change threats, understanding ways to promote change, and managing dryland resources. There is considerable accumulated experience on options to help tackle these problems. One development approach that shows promise for agropastoral farming systems communities programming, particularly in a dryland context, is permaculture. Therefore in the frame of the Strengthening Innovation and Technology Adoption towards Sustainable Agricultural Productivity in Arab Countries project and under the diversification of agropastoral system-based value chains activity, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA in collaboration with the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) designed and implemented this technique in the agropastoral region of Jordanian Badia called Al Majidyya . Thus, the aim of this report is to provide a business plan regarding the implementation of this technique and to provide an overview of its programming as a response to food and nutrition insecurity for agropastoral communities. It emphasizes the role of permaculture as a sustainable, non-donor dependent tool for improving the health, food and nutrition security, and livelihoods of agropastoral communities and their families following a logical based process to make the system more sustainable in this agropastoral area. Indeed, the aim of this experiment “permaculture” in this agropastoral farming system is to restore soil, conserve water, and redirect waste streams. At the end, its principle is to make a crop production system by considering the function of each plant and the interaction between plants in which the components inside are mutually beneficial to each other in this specific agropastoral context. There are many techniques through the project with available inputs in order to enhance food security and water saving to improve livelihoods through increasing income and give farmers’ self-sufficiency through home manufacturing of farms food products. These techniques summarized in, water harvesting techniques (WHT) (rooftop water harvesting, swale, and water pond), compost manufacturing, wicking beds systems and chickens’ tractors systems which will lead to generate Income. The elaboration of a business model for permaculture farming system in a selected household in Al Majidyya village (Jordan) reveal the potential profitability of investing in this technique in the dry land areas. Both economic and financial indicators (BCR, IRR, NPV, etc.) support the profitability of this business. This implies a transition from conventional production system in agropastoral towards an array of sustainable regenerative production systems that improve productivity with limited resources. Furthermore, shifting from the current approach in agricultural management in these farming systems is necessary. An approach that acknowledges the role of people as not mere producers of food, but also as managers of ecological systems that produce a suite of ecosystem services is needed.