OUR PROJECTS

Introduction to PADK’s Projects 

Like permaculture & regenerative agriculture, the components that create a healthy community are interwoven and highly connected.  Our mission is dependent on the success and livelihood of the community within the Kady Department, and therefore we invest in all kinds of projects that span the areas of health, education, and socioeconomic.

This page will highlight both the community work we do and our core projects that directly support our mission of promoting regenerative agriculture.

Projects at TARTS

The majority of our projects take place at the TARTS facility in Ngotto. To learn more specifically about what TARTS is and it’s day to day operations, follow the link below.

Improving Soil Health and Fertility

Our understanding of soil health has dramatically improved over the past decades. One of the fundamental pilars of regenative agriculture is improving soil health and fetrility. We seek to take the teachings of soil health pioneers like Gabe Brown & Alan Savory, and apply their practices within the Tropical and Subsaharan ecosystems.

Traditional Composting
The majority of our agricultural inputs are produced from traditional compost. This is the easiest way to ensure that no precious organic material goes to waste, and it’s the easiest and most efficient method for increasing soils organic material (SOM).  We are experimenting with various compost systems to serve as a model for the community.

Johnson-Su Bioreactors
Dr. Johnson’s pioneering work focuses on biologically diverse compost, also known as Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management (BEAM). Johnson-Su Bioreactors, are a composting system created by Dr. Johnson and his wife, Hui-Chun Su. Unlike conventional thinking that treats compost as a nutrient supplement, BEAM compost prioritizes soil biology to revive degraded soil lacking microbial activity. By incorporating BEAM compost inoculants and following regenerative agriculture practices, the symbiotic relationship between soil microbes and plant roots is restored, leading to rapid soil recovery and significant enhancements in carbon sequestration and crop productivity

Hugelkultur
Hugelkultur is a permaculture technique where organic materials like logs, branches, leaves, and compost are layered to create raised beds or mounds. It is yet another tool to increase organic mater and the soils’ microbial ecosystem. We are eager to promote this technique in the more arid regions, where soil moisture retention is a limiting factor during the harsh and long dry season.

Vermiculture & Compost Tea

Vermiculture improves soil structure through several mechanisms. Firstly, earthworm activity increases soil porosity and aggregation by burrowing and creating channels, allowing better air and water movement. Secondly, the organic matter in vermicompost acts as a binding agent, promoting soil aggregation and stability. Lastly, the mucus and enzymes produced by earthworms help break down complex organic compounds, further enhancing soil structure and nutrient availability. Furthermore, we use the vermiculture apparatus to produce incredibly rich compost teas, a concentrated solution of beneficial microorganisms, organic matter, and nutrients that provide a natural alternative to synthetic fertilizers.

Cover crops & Pasture Improvement

Cover crops offer several benefits in agricultural practices. Firstly, they help prevent soil erosion by protecting the soil surface from wind and water, reducing the loss of valuable topsoil. Secondly, cover crops improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere, adding organic matter to the soil, and enhancing nutrient availability for subsequent crops. Lastly, they suppress weed growth by shading the soil, competing for resources, and releasing allelopathic compounds, reducing the need for herbicides. Discussed later, pllanned grazing techniques allow animal hooves to work manure into the soil, break up compacted soil layers, and increases soil organic mater. Ultimately restulting in high quality pasture.

Biochar
Biochar is a highly porous form of charcoal produced from organic materials and is beneficial for soil health due to its ability to improve soil fertility, water retention, nutrient availability, and microbial activity. We produce biochar onsite and it is a key ingredient in our compost, Hugelkultur, and Johnson-Su bioreactors.  The pyrolysis process occurs under low-oxygen conditions in order to limit ash content, maximize carbon retention, and create biochar with optimal porosity and stability.

Fruit Trees & Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) 

NTFPs are resources obtained from forests other than timber or wood. They include a wide range of products such as fruits, nuts, berries, seeds, mushrooms, medicinal plants, fibers, resins, latex, honey, and various game animals. This aligns strongly with PADK’s ABCD Methodology. Exploitation of NTFP’s rely on the existing ecosystem, and combined with Analog Forestry practices can promote economic development and regenative agriculture practices.

Alley cropping is a practice whereby trees are planted between rows of a primary cash crop, in our case cocao and coffee. The crops can benefit from the trees’ shade, reduced wind speed, and biodiversity. The soil benefits from leaf litter, water retention, nutrient cycling.

TARTS works with both native species, and other introduced tropical species. It is important to note that we evaluate the use of exotic species to ensure that they pose minimal ecological threat. See below to learn more about some of the  different species we are experimenting with:

Inga sp.  – Inga is genus of tropical trees and shrubs that are native to the tropical Americas. They are incredibly and used for (i) alley cropping (ii) fast growing fuel-wood (iiI) polanator resource & (iv) contribute to nitrogen fixation.

Tree Sp.  – This is another space for a third NFTP type of tree. just ot respect the rules of three. Here is some information about this third tree species, before describing moringa and finishing with a photo. 

Moringa oleifera – Needs almost no introduction. This plant originally from South Asia, has been adapted to many tropical climates and exploded in popularity over the decades. Moringa is a fast growing tree with incredible nutrition and medicinal properties. We harvest, dry it’s leaves, and transform them into an extremely nutricious powder. We regularly engage in community distributions to promote childhood nutrition. 

Seed Sovereignty, Market Garden & Horticulture

The Cameroonian seed market is consumed by large industries importing hybrid seed. While these strains are productive, the seeds produced by these hybrid plants will not necessarily have the same traits as the parent plants and may exhibit a wide range of variations.
The seed sovereignty movement is a grassroots movement that seeks to promote the rights of farmers and communities to save, exchange, and use their own seeds. At its core, the movement seeks to empower farmers and communities to reclaim control over their food systems by preserving traditional knowledge, promoting biodiversity, and rejecting the industrialized, corporate-controlled agriculture that dominates the modern food system. TARTS is committed to refining our seed saving practices and promoting the use of heirloom varieties, to reduce market gardeners’ dependency on the seed market.   

Livestock, Poultry, & Small Animal Husbandry 

The traditional approach to rearing livestock is completely broken. Over the past decades our sole objective had been resource extraction at the cost of animal welfare and enivronmental conditions. A regerativists appraoch seeks to optimize production by leveraging natrual processes and maintaining ecosystem health. See below to see the different practices that we have implemented.     

Mob and High Density Grazing 

Grazing management practices such as planned grazing and paddocking can improve soil health in several ways. Firstly, they promote even distribution of grazing pressure across the pasture, preventing overgrazing in certain areas and allowing for uniform plant growth and root development. Secondly, rotational grazing systems provide periods of rest for pastures, allowing for plant regrowth and root system recovery, which enhances soil stability and organic matter accumulation. Thirdly, grazing animals, through their trampling and manure deposition, contribute to nutrient cycling and organic matter incorporation into the soil, improving soil fertility. Lastly, the physical action of animal hooves on the soil surface can help break up compacted soil layers, improving soil structure and water infiltration.

Commercial & Cash Crops 

We grow a variety of commercial crops to sustain PADK operations, but also to demonstrate how local farmers can increase their productivity and profits, all while adhering to sustainable and regenerative practices.      

REgional Projects 

The activities at PADK extend beyond our main site in the Kadey. We are connected with organizations throughout the country and collaborate on projects that align with our mission and values. We give special attention to initiatives in the East Region and Kadey department and have carried out projects in over 20+ neighboring villages and communities.

ABCD Approach & Community Surveys

We grow a variety of commercial crops to sustain PADK operations, but also to demonstrate how local farmers can increase their productivity and profits, all while adhering to sustainable and regenerative practices.      

Health Center of Boubara, Community Survey Collaborators

Training with Ngotto Community on the ABCD approach

Training with Community Health Agents

Supporting Local Schools 

Supporting education is crucial as it not only equips children with essential knowledge and skills but also paves the way for future economic development and social progress, breaking the cycle of poverty and providing hope for a brighter future. Additionally, education fosters critical thinking and empowerment, enabling individuals to make informed decisions and contribute to the overall well-being of their community.

Giving School Supplies from Batouri in the Village of Banga

Giving School Supplies from Batouri to the Village of Sobolo

Giving School Supplies from Batouri in the Village of Mama 2

Young Women & Adolescent Girls

Reinforcement of young mothers and student capacities in entrepreneurship through the A2Empowerment (A2E) Club in the GBHS Batouri. 

Accompaniment of women group in their agricultural project of 3 ha

Women’s Agricultural Group of Taparé

 A2E Club at GBHS Batouri

Water & Sanitation Projects  

All projects seem to revolve around water. It’s critical for school children, agriculture, domestic chores, cooking, and the list goes on. Access to clean water and improved sanitation is essential for promoting community health and reducing the burden of waterborne diseases, ensuring a healthier and more productive population. These projects also empower residents, particularly women and girls, by saving them time spent collecting water and providing opportunities for education and economic activities. Furthermore, adequate water and sanitation facilities contribute to environmental sustainability, preserving local ecosystems and supporting a community’s long-term well-being.

Building Public Latrines for Ngotto

Supplying Cement to the Village of Wantamo

Building of a Well in the GBHS Batouri