Notice: If you are in the Edinburgh (UK) area there is a slide show talk "Saving Rainforests and Coral Reefs by Helping Farmers" by Tiiu Miller on Saturday 4th December, at 7.30 pm, at St. Fillan's church, Buckstone Terrace, Edinburgh. All welcome. The talk is followed by drinks and nibbles, and all is free, but there will be a voluntary collection in aid of Rainforest Saver.
A lot of progress has been made since the last newsletter in the summer. So this will be a brief summary and we hope to fill in more detail of the various projects in the coming months.
The teaching of sustainable farming in Honduras: Support this project!
Class on agriculture at FunaVid. Photo by Tiiu Miller 2010.
Dr. Valle is extending his teaching of the basics of good agriculture and Inga alley cropping. He and his colleagues have been teaching students from two local agricultural high schools. This teaching is being extended to many more schools by training the teachers of more schools to deliver the course. That will enable the teaching to reach far more students than Dr. Valle and his colleagues could teach directly themselves. Initially 20 teachers from 4 local schools are being trained. Then from next April teachers from three more districts, a total of about 15 schools, have been lined up. The following year the project will start to be rolled out widely. There are agricultural high schools in 12 of the 18 districts of Honduras, though some of these are too remote to be reachable. But the project will cover as many of them as is possible.
Teaching in an Inga alley on the FunaVid mountain. The many schools that are far from FunaVid need to have their own small Inga plots for practical teaching. Photo by Tiiu Miller 2009.
Please support this teaching of Inga alley cropping widely throughout Honduras by giving a school alley plot as a Christmas gift!
Seeing is believing. To that might be added that Doing is learning. Small Inga alley demonstration plots will be provided to as many of these schools as have land for them, which is most of them. These will be valuable teaching aids, and will serve to convince the students of how well the alley cropping works. Others in the community, like the students' fathers who are farmers, can also see these plots. So the potential benefit is considerable.
These plots will cost only £30 each. To donate one as a Christmas present please go to
Or write to me with your and your friend's details and enclose the cheque.
Your friend will receive an attractive greeting card announcing your donation. You may also donate parts of an alley plot for more than one friend, so long as the total adds up to £30 (or multiples of £30). For example, you may donate £30 and name two friends as receiving half a plot each.
Gift card for donation of a school Inga alley plot
The sponsored walks
Our two sponsored walks, organised by Charles Barber and Alan Beattie, were greatly enjoyed by the participants and between them, including gift aid, they have raised about £2000. We thank Charles, Alan and all the participants most sincerely. Every penny of this money has already been allocated to support the projects in Honduras and Cameroon. Thanks to these marvellous fund raising efforts we have been able to keep things going - just.
Here are some photos from Charles' walk, which took place at the end of August.
Charles Barber's walk. The happy party about to set off, and who is the centre of attention? Photo by Charles Barber 2010.
You can read about Alan's walk at
but here are a few great images from it. Check out their adventure journal for explanations, but in case you are worried, all five participants got home safely after this 87 mile adventure.
Four photos from Alan's walk. Photos by Alan Beattie 2010.
The FunaVid projects in Honduras
Charles Barber (our chairman) and I visited our partners in Honduras in September so as to participate in planning the future projects of the FunaVid projects .
FunaVid owns some land on a mountain by the Northern coast of Honduras. Since our visit in September some more land above this has been bought, with some financial help from Rainforest Saver. This is directly above the large area of tall grass already owned by FunaVid making a total area of about 6 hectares above the lower forested area. This will be planted with Inga alleys. This will make an excellent demonstration area for Inga on the slopes in a place close to where farmers work and it is also visible well from the surrounding area (see photo).
View of the FunaVid mountain from the shore. Photo by Tiiu Miller 2009.
Close up of the mountain top. Photo by Tiiu Miller 2010.
Some farmers adjacent to this land will also be planting their land with Inga alleys. The difficulty of poor farmers with little land in taking up the Inga is that it takes about three years before the alleys start to produce so how will they feed their families until then? It is all very well expecting an increasing crop in the following years, they have to eat till then. Dr. Dodson has a good answer. FunaVid has some agricultural land which will be planted with crops. These will be given to the farmers until their own land becomes productive. Then, when their own land produces a surplus, as it will when well fertilized by the Inga, they in turn will support the next farmers. Thus a chain can be built up to spread this excellent farming practice.
Lower down the mountain FunaVid plan to create an eco-tourist trail. There is some well re-grown rainforest there and quite a lot of wildlife. Fruit trees and flowers will be
Looking at monkeys in the rainforest on the FunaVid mountain. Photo by Tiiu Miller 2010.
Wild heliconium flower on the FunaVid mountain Photo by Tiiu Miller 2010.
planted in places along the trail, and some existing accommodation needs to be upgraded as good tourist accommodation. There are local people who will act as guides and provide food for the tourists. This would bring much needed income to the local community and give them a long term incentive to preserve the forest. It would also be a valuable teaching aid, particularly to Honduran school parties who may have never seen how beautiful their land can be. The trail will also serve to publicize the Inga technology, which will be part of the tourist attractions.