Togo PISCES

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Welcome to PISCES!

PISCES is a teaching farm in Northern Togo dedicated to the application and improvement of sustainable agricultural techniques. We currently own five acres of land and are working on creating an organic oasis in the Togolese savannah.

The People:

PISCES co-founder, Kerime, with some bees!

Kerime is a co-founder of PISCES and has worked as a counterpart with Peace Corps Togo since 2010. He is currently working as a school teacher and is also busy scoping out the PISCES’ site as well as setting up a fence.

PISCES co-founder, Michael, on a boat.

Michael Curcio is a co-founder of PISCES as well as a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Northern Togo, where he lived from 2015 to 2017. He is busy working to get tax-exempt status for PISCES.

Kerime and Michael scoping out the site on a dusty day in March.

The Plan:

Four year plan for conversion to organic production.

Over the course of four years, PISCES plans to bring four hectares (about 10 acres or 7.5 football fields) into sustainable organic production. We will use a variety of organic techniques, such as agroforestry, composting, and crop rotation, to improve the soil and grow crops without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. As we experiment with and refine these techniques, we will be training neighboring farmers to apply these strategies on their own land in order to encourage more sustainable agriculture in the region.

As transitioning from Industrial Agriculture to Organic Agriculture (more on this difference later) takes time and effort, a new hectare will be brought into production each year. Each hectare will be divided into four sections: a forest for rain-water water retention and firewood, a field for the cultivation of cereals and legumes, a garden for vegetables and fruit, and a section for raising animals, such as chickens, rabbits, goats, and sheep.

As shown in the plan above, the hectares work together synergistically, after four years, there is a large forest in the middle of the farm; and there are two long fields running east to west to facilitate wind pollination. The animal husbandry sections are separated, to minimize disease transmission, but also located near the gardens, which have the greatest need of animal manure.

The entire farm will be surrounded by a “live fence” made up of perennial grasses and thorny bushes. After this has been established, it will help keep roaming animals out of the fields and aid in the capture and retention of rain water and soil, which would otherwise run off into nearby streams. If our plan is successful, then we will host apprentices who are interested in applying the PISCES model on their own land and provide financial and technical support as they convert their land to organic production.

Kerime and future intern Dindioge checking out the fields before the rains arrive. PISCES will mentor high school students in Sustainable Agriculture techniques during their summer break.

THE PROBLEM

Why PISCES is needed:

A typical field during the dry season in northern Togo. After crops are harvested, the fields are burned to make it subsequently easier to plow.
This means that any organic fertility in the soil is either burned away by fire, blown away by the wind, baked away by the sun, or washed away in the rain.

Short story

Currently in Northern Togo, and many other parts of the world, farm soil is becoming progressively more impoverished through unsustainable farming practices. The soil can be enriched through sustainable farming practices, such as composting, but the process can take a lot of time and physical labor. PISCES will seek to develop the most efficient way to convert land to sustainable production and then share and replicate our model with as many people as possible.

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Please Click Here to Donate

PISCES is Fiscally Sponsored by the Tiny Seed Project, Inc. Tiny Seed provides logistical and administrative support to PISCES and permits the project to receive tax-exempt donations within the guidelines of U.S. law. Their contact information is below:

Tiny Seed Project, Inc.

P.O. Box 165

Greensboro Bend, VT 05842

www.tinyseedproject.org

info@tinyseedproject.org

TAX ID #84-2097757

Tiny Seed Project is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and fiscal sponsor of the Northeast Grainshed. Your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law.