The Valley Foundation is dedicated to promoting the benefits of Agroecology as a means to restore and preserve the environment while sustaining mankind. Recognizing that poverty is the greatest destructive force to the planet, VF has a particular focus on providing food security and greater profitability for the 2.5 billion small scale farmers living in poverty worldwide through a method of sustainable organic agriculture known as Permaculture.
Permaculture has three main principles: Care for the Earth, Care for people and Care for surplus production. These three principles are achieved by creating ecosystems that are designed to feed people, regenerate soil and forest ecosystems, and reinvest system surplus so that every output becomes an input, just like a natural ecosystem. In the short to mid-term this strategy drastically reduces cash input for a given farm. In the long-term permaculture eliminates monetary investment entirely; no fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, seeds, or saplings need to be purchased, while providing abundant nutritious food for a farmer and his entire family on as little as ¼ hectare. Unlike mono cropping where success is determined by the weather, single crop market prices and a once or twice per year harvest event, Permaculture provides a diversity of crops, not as subject to the vagaries of weather patterns, producing crops and income for a full twelve months of the year, while obtaining a significantly better water utilization, making this an ideal system for the rural poor. A related group of technologies have tremendous applicability for ranchers of any size, increasing forage, improving soil conditions, resisting drought, and improving both beef quality and quantity.
The Valley Foundation currently has model projects in Tanzania, Nigeria, Nicaragua and Paraguay, and is developing the Valley Park Agroecology Center in Oklahoma in support of their mission. This Center will serve as a training and demonstration facility to teach best practices in sustainable farming and wildlife management. It will also serve as a learning center for Jane Goodalls’ Roots and Shoots Global Leadership Program as they learn about sustainable environmental and food production methods and share this knowledge among their 120,000 chapters in 138 countries.