Energy Farming

Research and Training

The Himalayan Institute center in Kumbo has a demonstration plot on its main campus for research and development and for teaching various modern and sustainable farming techniques. During regular seminars, local farmers are instructed in composting, micro-rainwater harvesting, crop diversification, organic pesticides, and intercropping. The farm also serves as a nursery for biofuel and medicinal crops. Located in the administrative center of Kumbo, this demonstration site is easily accessible to thousands of farmers.

An Energy Farming technician poses next to a bed where castor, a biofuel plant, and brahmi, a medicinal herb, have been intercropped.

Two Kenya-style top-bar hives are in use. The honey and wax are used in Total Health products.

Growing Medicinal Herbs

Energy Farming seeks to promote local solutions to rural challenges. By growing medicinal herbs in the communities that need them, the Total Health Centers can provide affordable health options without being dependent on long distance supply chains. Currently, Himalayan Institute’s local growers supply enough medicinal crops to meet the needs of the Total Health program and to stock the shelves of holistic health practitioners around the country. Thanks to on-site production and processing, herbal treatments are finally becoming affordable for patients in Cameroon.

Rows of sunflowers growing on site in Cameroon. Sunflower oil and beeswax are an essential base for our topical health products.

Manufacturing Herbal Products

Medicinal herbs grown for the Total Health program include Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Turmeric, Tulsi, Calendula, Echinacea, and Papaya. Once the herbs are fully grown, they are harvested and dried. The dried herbs are crushed into a powder which can be used directly in teas or can be further processed into tinctures, balms, salves, and Total Health herbal formulations.

Capsule presses allow herbal tablets to be manufactured locally.

Service Program

The Himalayan Institute Cameroon owns three tractors, which are rare in the area. Local farmers have access to this equipment through a service rental program, which will allow them to more easily till, plow and irrigate their fields.

By bringing new agricultural tools and methods to Kumbo, the School of Energy Farming is giving farmers the opportunity to cultivate more land with greater ease. In most parts of Cameroon, fields lay barren during the dry season, but with the introduction of irrigation equipment, local farmers have the means to extend the growing season. With access to these tools and services, farmers will be better able to provide a sustainable crop yield and income for their families.

Large Scale Tree Planting

When properly coordinated, tree planting initiatives can not only reverse local desertification and impact global CO2 levels, but also provide sustainable income to the rural communities that adopt and oversee them. As part of the Energy Farming program, the Himalayan Institute planted over 10,000 trees in 2007 and 15,000 trees in 2008, including medicinal, biofuel and live fencing species, and continues to supervise tree planting in vulnerable water catchment areas to improve soil cover and retain water.