An estimated 250 to 300 million families slash-and-burn land in the world’s tropical forests to combat weed takeover and clear fertile areas in which to grow crops. Of these, approximately 100 million will be slashing and burning in rainforests. Slash-and-burn sends CO2 into the atmosphere and only lasts one to two seasons before the land is stripped of nutrients. No viable alternative has been presented until now.
To begin Inga Alley Cropping, farmers plant crops between rows of nitrogen-fixing Inga trees. The Inga trees maintain soil fertility from season to season, shade crops from sun, out-compete invasive weeds, and even supply firewood for families. The entire method, which quickly integrates the whole family in their own cash-crop economy, can be executed on permanent plots close to their dwelling. Most importantly, Inga Alley Cropping provides a much-needed sustainable alternative to slash-and-burn.
Congo, Honduras, Madagascar
- Mike Hands Founder & Director, Inga Foundation