Over the last 18 months, ZYCALA youth have learnt holistic approaches to agriculture and conservation in an attempt to increase food security and pave a path out of poverty.
Permaculture design principles are centred around working alongside nature to not only increase crop yields but to create an organic and sustainable system of production. Supporting this approach, the ZYCALA youth have been trained in permaculture design practices such as skills in compost making, raised bed, crop diversification and water preservation to address unsustainable farming practices and low productivity in the region.
After a successful training, Zambian youth created an insightful Step-by-Step Handbook of permaculture techniques covering six sustainable agriculture practices: permaculture designs, organic fertiliser, permaculture beds, micro-water harvesting, seedling transplanting and seed saving.
Determined to inspire and empower others, the handbook will help the youth disseminate their learning to the wider community. It will be distributed among community leaders in the region and the youth will become active facilitators of conservation agriculture, reaching out to other young people in the province. In this way, the handbook will catalyse action in the region, engage local communities with ZYCALA and equip them with tools for positive change. It will strengthen communities from within by providing them with the knowledge and tools to implement their own permaculture projects, encourage greater food security and improve socio-economic well-being.