VT is offered free to all GSR community members. It more than pays for itself because of the significant improvements in worker productivity and quality of the products produced. Peanuts grown according to best practice organic farming principles can be used in making peanut butter (selling at $6000 per ton) rather than lower grade peanuts used in making refined peanut oil (about $2000 per ton). Top grade organic produce commands far better prices in the market. GSR’s training methods focus on apprenticeships. Working under experienced experts, unskilled apprentices quickly pick up new skills. Once apprentices is certified, they become eligible to apply for a business loan from the GSR Community Bank, acting under the recommendation of the Village Corporation Board to start a new business. Part of the agreement of this loan is that the new business will take on and train new apprentices. Today’s student is tomorrow’s teacher.
Farmers are not excused from training. In fact, agricultural training is critical for the success of village corporations. GSR has begun to develop an organic farming training course which will enable farmers to quadruple their harvest and drastically improve the quality of their produce.
The goal of this course is to give graduates all the basic knowledge and skills necessary to successfully build and manage a sustainable green community project anywhere in the world. The course will combine knowledge and practical application. Students will make organic pesticide and fertilizer from locally available materials, build their own housing, sustainable energy systems and water treatment facilities from scratch. Besides the lectures and hands on training, the students as individuals and team members will be allotted a piece of barren land and that land itself will be a “final exam” which demonstrates the students’ mastering the skills necessary to make that land habitable. If the land has been successful transformed into farmland, the student will pass the final exam.