December 26, 2022

A Gambian permaculturalist who is out to spread the word

Meet Nfamara Badjie, a proponent of permaculture, fighting climate change and building better futures in The Gambia, West Africa! Nfamara, with a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture and marketing, has become not only a voice in his community, but a leader by teaching permaculture, and by being an excellent example of what can be done by everyone for a brighter, greener future.

Nfamara started his farming career by establishing backyard gardening in his community. He inspired young minds with the importance of growing their own food. Utilizing wallspace in schools, village markets, and on the streets, he painted his message and spread information on the importance of caring for the environment, tree planting, education, and food security.

In 2014, he had 3 orchards growing 2,000 orange trees, as well as several endangered tree species. It was while visiting a friend in the nearby village Kafunty; a friend who established a food forest near the sea, that Nfamara was inspired to do the same. By learning and utilizing the principles of permaculture, as his friend did, by 2019, he had a permaculture garden and classroom where he teaches the concepts of permaculture, waste management, food security, and issues regarding climate change. Permaculture (meaning permanent culture) being a self-sustaining, low maintenance, and totally organic way of living in harmony with the environment.

Permaculture is the development of agricultural ecosystems, drawing inspiration from nature itself. It entails land management and settlement designs that mimic those found in thriving natural ecosystems. The core values of permaculture integrate garden and home, creating an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Within his community, Nfamara does this by following the four R’s: Reduce waste, Re-use waste, Recycle waste, and Re-think waste. The ethics of caring for people, as well as the environment, are fundamental to permaculture. This is what Nfamara Badjie is spreading in his community. As an imam, he is a powerful voice and he leads not only by teaching permaculture and environmental awareness, but by setting a good example as well.

Modern agriculture depends on chemicals and large machines to seed, fertilize, and harvest crops for mass distribution. Permaculture is totally different in its organic, environmentally friendly approach to agriculture. It creates rather than destroys the earth. It attracts and promotes a balanced life over sickness and survival. It is a viable solution to the food crisis facing the planet.

When we discovered Nfamara, we knew we found our cicerone. Our mobile app intends to teach farmers sustainable farming practices in order to promote and improve environmental biodiversity. The goal is to have farmers and future farmers engage in these permaculture practices to serve not only the earth, but the people too.

HappyFarm is excited to collaborate with Nfamara Badjie. By introducing a data collection system to him and incorporating his model farming into our app, we can teach smallholder farmers. Data collection of various plants and crops is invaluable to farms and communities pursuing their own ends while working with, not against, the environment for a greener, healthier tomorrow.