Lisa, Sasha and Robin are training once again for the “Run for Biodiversity” on October 12, as part of the Victoria Marathon. They are running to support the work of USC Canada with farmers in Nepal. Robin went to Nepal in 2003 to see the effects of industrial agriculture imposed on an ancient terraced landscape. Chemical fertilizers were burning away the scarce topsoil, and hybrid seeds bred for North American-type soils were considered “greedy” because they needed too much water and nutrients to produce. Farmers felt stuck because they had lost their native seeds and were pressured into high production-type systems. She got to see the work of USC first hand and experienced the empowerment of local farmer-scientists who re-introduced traditional seeds, and traditional methods along with tried and true methods gleaned from meetings with other southern farmers practicing ecological farming methods. Magic!
USC is one of the oldest NGOs in Canada, and it has a agro-ecological approach to its aid work. It helps operate seed banks with traditional seed all over the world (coming soon to Canada!), they empower farmers to implement their traditional practices, and they help build resilient communities. If you would like to make a pledge for team Saanich Organics, we’d appreciate it. If you are looking for an international NGO to support on a long term basis, USC has our thumbs up as an effective organization that puts farmers at the forefront of social change. See www.usc-canada.org