Saturday we started our first lot of training specifically in IMO (indigenous micro-organisms) piggery. This is a great, newish organic system that was developed in South Korea. In a nutshell, we introduce IMO from the surrounding area to the floor area of the pig pen (which is made out of rice husks or sawdust etc); it breaks all the faeces down and in doing so takes away the smell of the pig pen completely. It is a fantastic system which is ideal for semi-urban agriculture. The pigs are also a lot happier as they are not on cement floors, they can dig and do what pigs do. The empty the floor after six months or so and it can go straight onto the garden as nutrient-rich compost/manure.
I put together a training manual that we are using for the course, taught by local trainer Denish. We have about 10 participants in all different stages of life – from a retired doctor to a school secretary/widower and a local boda driver (motorbike taxi) – all wanting to learn the IMO technology. It is running over two weekends, with the last day being a life skills training day in the forest of TRP.
One of the participants has particularly encouraged me: he was keen for me to take his picture all the time during different stages of the process. His logic was ‘when I am old, I will show my grandchildren where I learnt this technology. And when I have 500 pigs in the future, these pictures will be memorabilia.’