Editor’s Note: There are still places available on the April 17-30 PDC in Morocco – you’re encouraged to book now! Andy’s side-offer, described below, may well be another good reason to go – as while taking the course you have opportunity to check out a very affordable investment opportunity that may pay dividends in more ways than one.
With the high risk of our seeing hyperinflation hit us sometime in the next 2-3 years, many are wondering what to do with their money before it becomes worthless. This is why serious investors have at least part of their portfolio in tangible assets such as gold or land.
For a long time I wanted to buy some land and do something with it, but where I live the land is stupidly expensive (particularly for small amounts), the prices propped up by grants and other scams. I knew there was affordable land in other parts of the world but I had neither the contacts nor the confidence to do anything. Recently I bought a small piece of land in Morocco to build a school and internet project, based around permaculture. Having gone through the purchasing process, with some good friends over there helping, and having the deeds in my possession, I am in a good position to help others do something good with their money.
Starting from the edges, it is quite possible to turn the desert back into a forest. Your investment would be part of the first stage, using permaculture principles to halt the spread of the desert, bring back fertility and then eventually expand into the sand dunes. Reforest the Sahara and not only keep your capital, but also have a good chance of increasing its value massively. Use your ‘insider knowledge’ of permaculture to invest in the real future.
The land I bought was quite fertile agricultural land, and quite expensive; altogether with legal costs it was about 3000 euros for a hectare or so. There’s marginal land in the area much cheaper because people don’t realize what can be achieved on such land. I was inspired by the whole region – it’s turning to desert but could easily be turned around with a little judicious planting and a respite from the goats. Anyone (or a group of friends) with around 3,000 euros could buy some and make it into a forest. This is the kind of land I’m talking about:
How it Works
We act as an agent:
- for the initial purchase, ensuring that the purchaser has legal title
- to employ local people to do the work
- for any subsequent sale or transfer
The agency would be entirely voluntary, no long term contract or penalty clauses. If you decide to manage your own land, or appoint someone else at any time, you are entirely free to do so.
The fees to cover labour and expenses could be annual or monthly, with no obligatory minimum, and as more land comes into the scheme the labor costs per acre would go down. As the land develops into forest, you will have crops such as nuts, fruit and olives, as well as timber. These can be used to pay the workers maintaining the forest, thus offsetting the ongoing expense altogether. All this can be managed for you by us, or by anyone else you choose to appoint.
Much of the initial work could be done as part of the courses we’ll be running for local people, as well as international students, volunteers and interns, who would benefit from the experience, This would mean you would not need to pay much for the time it should take to become productive enough to cover costs. After the intial earthworks we could pay someone 20 to 25 euros for a full day every now and then, at your discretion. The more work is done, the faster it will develop. This need not be intensive permaculture, more like zone three or four.
We can arrange hospitality and accommodation for you at local rates, so you can visit the project and see your land at any time with minimum cost. The area we are in has stunning scenery and welcoming people, so this could be a low-cost and unique holiday for you too.
Advantages over traditional ‘charity’:
- Totally Ethical (your ethics). Your children’s world will be enhanced by your investment, and no damage is done anywhere
- Land price would increase as the whole area becomes fertile. So your investment starts to grow even just in cash terms very soon
- The investment is under your control completely. You can run it yourself or appoint someone else as an agent at any time
- It’s free from the pitfalls of fiat currency, which affect virtually every other form of investment except things like gold
- None of your money is wasted. Most organizations spend a significant proportion of your donations on administrators, offices, computers etc. We will be using the already existing resources of the School/Permaculture Centre.
- You get to do something useful with your money and still keep it!
Small is Beautiful
By keeping the operation small we can save costs and avoid the burgeoning bureaucracy that plagues many projects.The core operation—the land agency and work co-ordination—can be done by two people, who will use the same resources as all the other projects, and not rely on this as a full-time job. Thus commission and admin fees can be kept to a bare minimum. The vast majority of your money is in the investment itself, and fees are in line with those of banks and other investment agents. The work will be carried out by local people trained on the permaculture design ceritifcate courses at our centre. Thus the communty will see immediate benefits from the project.
You Choose the Kind of Forest
- Food Forest: This is a diverse woodland designed with an overstory of thngs like palm, wth many fruit and nut trees growing beneath it, as well as a thriving support community of plants and animals. It mimics the natural forest system, producing a sturdy and stable ecosystem with abundant food and water. This is the best for our area, as it has a human population and we need to convince the locals of the benefits of permaculture.
- Timber: Similar design to the food forest, but with an emphasis on trees that wll be valuable for timber when fully grown.
- Wild: This would be left alone after some optional initial earthworks to preserve water. Many people believe wild land is worth nothng, but you only need to look at the degrees of corruption timber companies will go to in order to exploit the Public wildlands in the USA to see that this is not true. Usually there is quite an expense in fencing for this knd of project, but the goats here are herded, not free-ranging, and the locals will respect your wishes and not graze the land. There are wild baby-tree predators but the removal of the goats will be sufficient to ensure success.
Comment below if you have questions and/or expressions of interest – or email me on andy (at) tribalnetworks.org