At present the Directors are myself, Darren Aitken, as chairman and my daughters Daisy Aitken, a university student studying social sciences, and Ivy Aitken, also a university student studying commerce. We also intend to take on other directors, and form a working group that includes at least one member from each of the countries that become integrally involved in PABDA. All individuals incvolved in the organisation do so on a voluntary basis.
The Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Australia, BDAAA, and the Biodynamic Growers Australia, BDGA, are long standing organisations that have been providing practical training and mentoring, working farmer to farmer, in the Australian Demeter Biodynamic Method since the mid 1950's. All training and mentoring that I undertake in Australia is for these two organisations.
So far we have been working in Malaysia since 2011 and China and Taiwan since 2013. I have ended up in these countries via different connections and contacts with farmers from each of the different countries. Beginning by working with one main farmer from each country and most importantly making sure they get results for other farmers to see. Those main farmers then organise a seminar that I run to introduce new farmers to the method. The seminar fees cover my costs only and the remainder is for the farmer. I continue to work with the main farmer until they are at a level of competence where they can mentor new farmers that take up the method, and finally run and present their own seminars. When this has happened I will visit the country and visit farmers that are practicing the method for follow up advice and assistance if requested. Ultimate outcome is each country becomes independent.
In Malaysia they are now providing their own training and mentoring, guided by Ng Tien Khuan and his wife Ho Woon Sing, and have established a strong network of biodynamic farmers that is growing across the country. At their request I continue to visit Malaysia each year.
In Taiwan they also provide their own training and mentoring. Wu Shui Yun and his wife Li Ling, and are beginning to establish a similar network of biodynamic farmers.
In China they have established an association that is run internally, but is in essence a sister of PABDA and the two work closely together. They have farmers getting good results in many different areas of the country. Myself, Shui Yun and Tien Khuan travel to China each year to provide training to new farmers and to continue to work with the main farmers, who are now also mentoring others as well. A solid framework of BD farmers is establishing but will take more time to develop fully. We have an annual meeting of PABDA in China each year.
Individuals from each of the countries have been to Australia to visit BD farmers and to learn to make the Biodynamic preparations.
We will be open to all requests for assistance from young farmers that have first shown individual initiative in the pursuit of farming using the Australian Demeter Biodynamic Method. Requests for funding will come through the mentors and famers of the associations and networks in each country with the final decision being undertaken by PABDA.