The Purpose of the Race
Using athletics as a platform for change and awareness, High Altitude Training of Arizona proposes the inaugural Race for Sustainable Agriculture, an event to benefit sustainable agriculture and food security in East Africa. The proceeds from the race will be used to build permacultures, which produce high yields of organic edible plants with minimal inputs other than the initial construction.
Farmers in East Africa are facing high costs as the increase in demand for food grows exponentially. Industrial agriculture methods are displacing community food production. Production incentives to use agricultural chemicals and GMOs, harmful to human health, is rising at an alarming rate. Communities have documented a steady increase in rates of cancer, declining immune function, thyroid diseases, asthma, birth defects, and a sharp decline in intellectual development directly correlated to the use of these chemicals. The list of harmful effects grows as links between chemical use on crops, the environment, and health are being discovered. The problems related to these effects are innumerable and are connected globally. While visiting Kapchorwa, Uganda, our observations and interviews with community members confirmed these conclusions. Lack of information about sustainable living methods in this region, where athletics is a way of life, is the basis for this initiative aimed at having the greatest impact possible.
The solution to the problems related to industrial food production is sustainable organic food systems, which addresses the causes, the use of toxins on agricultural crops and the destruction of natural habitats that support and protect life with services that can only be accomplished efficiently by nature. Permacultures, also known as food forests, are the only completely sustainable food systems with renewable and regenerative properties for the greater environment and thus, for human health.
The project goals are:
To plan, organize and stage The Race for Sustainable Agriculture. To introduce sustainable organic food systems to the communities in and around the surrounding regions of Kapchorwa, Uganda by building and teaching permaculture. Teach sustainable living concepts to the community. Raise global awareness and interest in sustainable agriculture by sharing the successes using diverse media opportunities.
The race date and the venue are pending the acquisition of funding.
What is a permaculture?
Building a permaculture involves understanding the way that nature works to supply all living things with food! Permaculture specialists must design a system consisting of edible plants, that mimics natural ecosystems, and will then become self sustaining and self renewing. Regenerative permaculture systems can be created in any habitat for the benefit of humans and and the surrounding natural ecosystem.
What are the benefits of permaculture? Permaculture replenishes depleted soil to a healthy state for the growth of healthy, clean, fresh edible plants, eliminating the need to fertilize the soil, eliminating the need for pesticides, eliminating the use of chemicals, other man made inputs, biologic inputs, and greatly reduces or eliminates the need for additional irrigation to what nature already provides (holds water on a landscape to help with hydration and cut down on water use). Systems can adapt to climate variations. Most importantly, permaculture increases biodiversity within the system and the larger natural environment as well (preservation of biodiversity). This benefit will lead to a reduction in the current extinction rate, which has skyrocketed to 1000 times the sustainable, or natural rate of extinction. Our current agricultural methods are a primary cause of global warming and rapid extinction, stemming from the destruction of habitats to grow food and the use of chemicals to disrupt the ecological balance.
Permaculture is a sustainable solution to the global problems of depleted soil, decreasing nutritional value of food, contamination of groundwater and surface water, mass extinction from ecosystem and environment destruction, loss of resources that support life and prevent disease, and unnatural global warming.
Help us to bring sustainable, healthy food systems to the planet! Join us by volunteering or contribute to our efforts to establish The Race for Sustainable Agriculture.