Organics in Tibet.
In the 1960s, I ran the Tibetan Farm School in South Wales where I tried to teach organic, self-sufficient, small-scale farming to young Tibetan students from India. The project was not successful because "the powers-that-be" and various charities felt that I was trying to put the clock back and steer Tibetan refugees away from progress.
There are about 100,000 Tibetan refugees in India, Bhutan and Nepal; the majority are living in agricultural settlements. About five years ago, the Tibetan government-in-exile realized that soil fertility in the settlements had declined by nearly 50 percent in 40 years. Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) Samdong Rimpoche and his parliament decided that the settlements should switch from chemically assisted mono-cropping for saleto organic self-sufficiency--an enormous task!
I recently received the November/December 2005 edition of Tibetan Bulletin. In it was the following article, which could well be headed "Who Leads the World?":</p> <pre> Gala Organic Lunch The Health Department of the Tibetan Administration hosted a gala organic lunch to about 500 Gangkyi staff this November, following various talks on Organic Food for Public Health. "Despite the difficulties faced in the initial two years of my administration," Kalon Tripa said, "as of now, we have been able to make a head start in the introduction of organic fanning in all the Tibetan agro-settlements." In a pilot project, a select 10 students each of the (upper) Tibetan Children's Village School, Dharmsala, and the Mussoorie-based Tibetan Homes Foundation will be fed only organic food for six months beginning this November, declared Health Secretary Tempa
Samkhar. Apart from training on organic food, the project, which
will cost US$117,000, also includes supplying organic food to
Sherab Gatsel Lobling School, Dhannsala (with over 750 students)
and Central School for Tibetans, Chauntra (with about 400 students) for six months. When will our schools start to copy this inspired example? </pre> <p>Sedley Sweeny,
Cortes Island, British Columbia