Promotion of environment friendly farming
About the Implementing organization
Name: AA. UKULHAS WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Year of establishment: 2014
Type of organization: Women’s association or organization
The conventional model of agriculture practiced in the Maldivian island includes open application of fertilizers which creates runoff and pollution of ground water land which is used for other household purposes. Furthermore, the open application of fertilizers is also an issue of much concern due to its negative health impacts. By growing the crops in coco peat bags and having an automated system to water and fertilize the plants, runoff is prevented and open and excess application of fertilizers is prevented.
Oceans / Coasts
Type of Action
Pollution prevention, clean up / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Climate action
A significant proportion of fruits and vegetables consumed in the local islands as well as supplied to tourist resorts are imported. Hefty food miles are associated with these imports. In the local islands where agriculture is practiced it is done to the detriment of the environment where a chemical intensive model is used. Fertilizers and pesticides are applied openly to the ground creating run off. The model practiced in Ukulhas where crops are cultivated in coco peat bags prevents runoff fertilizers and open application. The shade houses prevent spreading of diseases and hence minimizing or negating the use of pesticides altogether.
Sustainable Development Impacts
SDG 14.1: Intervention of WDC has substantially reduced the need for chemical fertilizer and set standards to reduce the land-based nutrient pollution in the nearby coral areas.
SDG 6.3: Community of Ukulhas Island relies on ground water for almost all household purposes. The ground water is a thin lens of water which is very susceptible to on-ground pollution due to very porous soils. The fertilizers and pesticides used in home gardens contaminate the ground water lens from run off. The project has created awareness of the dangers of chemical pollution and people are making a switch to more organic practices.
SDG 5.5: The project has empowered marginalized women not just through providing them a livelihood activity but also training them in leadership and management and to challenge their traditional gender norms. The project has enabled women to engage in decision making and take up non-traditional roles ascribed to women.
The project could be easily scaled up to islands practicing agriculture as a livelihood. The initial investment cost includes the cost of shade houses and piping system which could be recovered through less use of fertilizers and pesticides.
The model of farming can be employed in other land scare island countries like Maldives where labor intensiveness is a challenge to agricultural activities. Cultivation in coco peat bags and fertigation can also be coupled with other farming techniques to prevent excess chemical use and prevention of pollution.
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