Cikananga Sustainability Farming Program

Sustainability program Cikananga - volunteers

Program Pertanian Berkelanjutan Cikananga (PPBC)

Welcome to the Program Pertanian Berkelanjutan Cikananga (PPBC) – Cikananga Sustainability Farming Program. Empowering Regenerative Agriculture for a Sustainable Future.

PPBC embraces the land that sustains us and shares the wealth of knowledge gained with both the local community and learners from around the globe, helping to create a sustainable world for future generations.

The program is dedicated to supplying sustainable (organic) grown fruit & vegetables for the animals at Cikananga, providing them a healthy and nutritious diet. Additionally, we aim to become a leader in agroecological education within the region, providing educational opportunities to both local and international participants through our on-site demonstration farms and educational courses.

How did the Sustainability Program begin?

The Cikananga Sustainability Farming Program (PPBC) was founded by Scott Hartle in 2020 and embodies a holistic and multifaceted approach to regenerative agriculture.

Scott is a conservation biologist, with proven experience in research development, project management and field research. To date, most of his experience relates to biodiversity in human-modified landscapes. He is devoted to understanding the impact of human-modified landscapes on biodiversity but also the role they play in conservation. His primary focus areas include multifunctional land management, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation.

Scott; “I am adamant that we can develop and foster land-use practices that provide communities with sustainable livelihoods, whilst conserving local and regional biodiversity”.

PPBC Mission and Vision

Our mission is to produce 5,000 kg of sustainably grown produce annually, directly benefiting the diverse animals at the center. This ambitious goal drives our daily efforts and guides our long-term planning, underscoring our dedication to environmental health and resilience.

In parallel, we strive to be a regional beacon of agroecological education. By offering comprehensive programs that cover the scope of sustainable farming practices, we open doors for local and international participants to explore, learn, and contribute to the regenerative agriculture movement.

Focus areas

The main areas of focus form a multiphase approach, involving an on-site composting facility, food production areas, agroforestry fruit production area, and an irrigation improvement program.

  • Food production and Agroforestry Area: In total, the PPBC program currently covers 1.99 acres/0.8 hectares. This acreage is divided into three working sites, allowing us to take advantage of different microclimates and environmental services within the Cikananga Wildlife Centre. We practice several techniques designed to improve soil structure, enhance biodiversity, and increase the soil’s organic matter content. Here are some of the most common practices:
    • No-Till Farming: Avoiding tillage to prevent soil disturbance. This helps maintain soil structure, conserve moisture, and keep carbon in the soil.
    • Cover Cropping: Planting cover crops to prevent soil erosion, improve soil fertility, and increase biodiversity in the soil ecosystem.
    • Crop Rotation: Rotating different types of crops across fields from one season to the next to improve soil health and reduce pest pressures naturally.
    • Composting: Adding organic matter back into the soil through compost to enhance nutrient content and improve soil structure.
    • No Chemical Inputs: eliminating the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to encourage natural soil biology and reduce soil and water contamination.
    • Integrating Livestock: Utilizing animals on the farm to naturally fertilize the land through their manure and to help control weed and pest populations through grazing.
    • Agroforestry Practices: Incorporating trees and shrubs into agricultural landscapes to enhance biodiversity, improve soil structure, and provide additional income sources.
  • Composting system: The compost building accepts all forms of organic waste produced within the center, and with a few additional ingredients and time we transform the centers waste into a living soil amendment. The compost is made using the thermophilic composting technique (hot composting), allowing us to create compost within roughly three months. The compost building has had several upgrades since the program began, with the most recent involving the replacement of rotten roof supports, broken roof tiles, an extension, and the inclusion of static aeration pipes. On average, we produce 2,500 kg of compost every month. When finished, the compost is bagged up and transported to our various sites where it is incorporated into our production areas along with goat and sheep manure.

Land management and water access:

  • Healing The Matrix project: provides farmers will the opportunity to break the cycle between agroindustrial dependence and foster an environmentally friendly and economically sustainable approach towards alternative agroecological farming practices. Our project aims to improve the ecological and social stability of the rural landscape. The project will support farmers’ transition towards agroecological practices, conduct habitat restoration and foster local business creation through a coffee agroforestry program. The Healing the Matrix project has not started yet. But is planned, for the near future, funding dependant.
  • Education: we will provide conservation and regenerative agricultural education and field training programs for community participants. Furthermore, we will develop local release programs for several species of conservation concern within the project area. What do we want to achieve in the near future?
  • In Cikananga, we want to continue the development of our regenerative food production, with the intention of providing 70% of our animal food needs. Additionally, we want to partly automate our irrigation system, establish a recognized regenerative farming educational program with a conservation focus and provide our local community with organic compost and wholesale nutrient-dense organic food through a market garden.
  • If we can obtain enough support in the coming years, we can take crucial steps that can improve our soil health; increasing our food production capacity, which in turn will improve animal welfare and the independency of Cikananga. Soil health and fertility are fundamental for healthy food production, which is why it is the primary focus of our sustainability program. Once we can demonstrate the practices and benefits of regenerative agriculture the farm will become a Model Farm for local people and international volunteers. The demonstration of successful organic and regenerative agricultural farming practices can encourage a change in mindset and land-use practices. A reduction in agroindustrial chemicals entering the environment could have a real positive impact on surrounding landscapes and the
    wildlife that inhabits them.
  • Although we realize that these projects will not be easy, we also know that we have already achieved a lot with a small budget and a small but dedicated team, and therefore believe in our goal-oriented approach.

Will you help us?

If you are interested in our work; To continue and improve our programming, we need investments and long-term financial support. If what you’ve read aligns with the mission, vision, and values of your organization or with you personally, we would love to make time and explain more about our work.

Join us in Cultivating Change

We invite you to explore our programs, learn about our practices, and join us in our journey towards a more sustainable and regenerative future. Whether you’re a local farmer keen on transitioning to organic practices, an international student passionate about conservation, or a supporter of sustainable agriculture, there’s a place for you in the Cikananga Sustainability Farming Program. Together, we can grow our knowledge, nurture nature, and foster a vibrant, sustainable world for generations to come.