DEVELOPMENT OF AGRO-ECOLOGY AND FOOD SOVEREIGNTY
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PROJECT
Our agriculture project started in February, 2022, for a duration of 3 years.
Ecosoum’s objective is to achieve food sovereignty at the soum level through the development of local agro-ecological vegetable and fruit production that is sufficient to supply year-round the entire population.
The project was designed to be implemented in Khishig-Undur, but our ultimate goal is to replicate our accomplishments in other soums.
Our project is divided into 3 main goals:
1. to establish a 6.2 ha community agro-park that progressively enables to locally produce enough vegetables to supply the entire population of the soum.
2. to rehabilitate a 10ha community orchard that enables to create new sustainable jobs and reinforce community resilience to climate change.
3. to renovate an efficient community cellar and develop vegetable and fruit processing to enable year-round conservation and supply to the soum’s population.
MAIN DONORS AND PARTNERS
Our agriculture project is mostly funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The local administration of Khishig-Undur soum is also directly contributing to funding some activities.
The project is designed to be implemented jointly with the civil servant agronomist of Khishig-Undur soum. We are also supported by our partner PADEM (Programmes d’Aide et de Développement destinés aux Enfants du Monde), a Luxembourgish NGO.
MAIN ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT
SETTING UP OF FULLY EQUIPPED AGRO-PARK
In Khishig-Undur, 6.2 hectares are officially registered as “agriculture land” for vegetable farming. Over the past years, a few families in Khishig-Undur had been planting vegetables from time to time, essentially for self-consumption; but vegetable farming remained rather anecdotal. Through our project, we reinforced fences and purchased relevant equipment to turn this neglected agricultural zone into a proper “agro-park”, so as to alleviate the financial pressure on farming households and enable them to work in decent conditions.
ESTABLISHEMENT OF A MODEL FARM
Within this agro-park, a 0.5-hectare land was attributed to Ecosoum in order to establish a “model” farm run jointly by Khishig-Undur soum’s civil servant agronomist and our assistant farmer. A tool shed was built and a proper irrigation system was set up. The goal of this “model” farm is to offer a space where trainings can be organized, good practices can be demonstrated, and new relevant agricultural techniques can be experimented.
CONSTRUCTION OF A GREENHOUSE
An 80 m2 tunnel greenhouse with irrigation system was built in the village, next to the house of the local agronomist, so that she can produce good quality vegetable seedlings for the farming community. This centrally-located greenhouse is also a good way to display agriculture practices to all local citizens and raise interest for locally produced vegetables.
ORGANIZATION OF TRAININGS FOR LOCAL FARMERS
In addition to frequent trainings organized by the local agronomist, we invited experts for specific complementary trainings, especially at the beginning of the planting season. Trainings were offered not only to professional farmers but to all citizens interested in learning vegetable growing, including children.
FIELD TRIPS TO SELENGE PROVINCE
Other provinces, especially Selenge, are particularly renowned in Mongolia for their experienced farmers. We organized field trips to this region so that Khishig-Undur famers can learn from the best and benefit from their experience. Precious information was shared on key topics such as natural fertilizers, proper irrigation, storage techniques, preservation processes, etc.
CREATION OF A 7.2 ORCHARD
In another part of the agriculture area of Khishig-Undur, we created a brand-new orchard. We provided the participants of the project with over 6,000 tree seedlings of various species such as seabuckthorn, gooseberries, cherries, blackberries and so on. Necessary equipment was purchased and a state-of-the-art irrigation system was also installed to bring water to each and every tree.
SETTING UP AND TRAINING OF AN AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE
Project participants decided to create a cooperative to unit and take good care of the trees together. They worked very hard to plant all 6,000 trees within just a few days at the beginning of the spring, and then organized themselves to take shifts for the subsequent work. Ecosoum has been providing trainings and guidance throughout the whole process.