The Fankanta agroecology center is a research, training , and demonstration center for the promotion of agroecology using GROW BIOINTENSIVE agriculture, a sustainable solution for small farmers and family food production. The center is currently engaged in several activities:
Seed diversity in Senegal is declining rapidly as a small number of hybrid seeds (which are usually used in concert with chemical pesticides and fertilizers) have taken over the seed market. Fankanta is experimenting both with organic seed varieities never before tried in Senegal as well as seed from the Senegalese countryside in an attempt to find useful varieties that are adapted to local soils and climate. The center experiments with different plant spacings to see what spacings give higher yields. Another aspect of the research at Fankanta looks into determining the quality of compost produced from different feedstocks.
The center holds training sessions for family gardeners, community groups, youth groups, small scale farmers, and primary and high school students. Visit our gallery to see some of these training sessions.
The Fankanta agroecology center is a way to show interested individuals and the community at large that it is possible to produce what one eats and guarantee family self-sufficency with food, that it is possible to produce organic seeds, and that it is possible to improve the fertility of the soil. With these advantages, we will have a healthy food supply and be able to improve the health of our community.
Children are the promise of our future and have influence over their parents. Our youth should understand and love agriculture as they are the farmers of the future who will need to take over the responsibility of providing food for all. Training programs in sustainable agriculture give students a chance to learn numerous skills: geometry, biology, math, working together as a team and leadership. Furthermore they are a healthy extra curricular activity which diversifies and enriches students lives with hands on learning.
The Association Oasis Grow Biointensive currently runs sustainable agriculture programs at two schools in Dakar.
-At the Sergent Malamine Camara highschool in the Parcellese Assainies neighborhood. Under the direction of a biology teacher, the Environmental Club of this high school organizes several activities for the protection of the environment. The Association Oasis Grow Biointensive, with the authorisation of the school principal, leads weekly training sessions for the members of the Environmental Club.
-At the Keur Massar number 2 primary school, a similar program is run weekly under the supervision of the school's director. You will find pictures of these trainings in our gallery.
Women are the key to local devlopment. They are they key to our future as they are very engaged as members of their community. They are the ministers of family health, the quality of life of the family, and the family budget.
The Association Oasis Grow Biointensive works with a womans group in Mbour (81 km from Dakar). They were interested in receiving training to ensure their family food supply and to increase their financial independence. They are members of a union of restaurant and hotel workers. Thus they are important connections for the promotion of organic foods. They work on a property owned by one of their members who has provided this land to the group for two years. The well water in this location has a high salt content (it is very close to the ocean) and they are looking for additional spaces for their work with Biointensive agriculture.
Community Compost Program
The Association Oasis Grow Biointensive runs a compost program out of it's Fankanta demonstration farm. Organic waste is picked up from the local market in Keur Massar and delivered every day by horse cart to Fankanta where it is composted in windrows. Compost is then available as a resource to the community and for use on the Fankanta demonstration farm. To learn more about the program you can watch a fundraiser video which explains the project in more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcFn6wgYvb0&feature=youtu.be