We support community leaders to train farmers in agroforestry using Inga trees, planted in rows (alley-cropping) with crops between. Mulch from trees builds long-term fertility and replaces regular burning of forest every two to three years. Farmers teach farmers village by village.
Slash and Burn farming destroys forest and releases CO2; in Africa it is the biggest cause of forest loss. It is dangerous, hard to manage, bad for lungs, and each burn gives only 2 harvests before the soil is exhausted. Communities have to move to burn new land to cultivate, but there is less forest left to burn and less fertility; young people leave for the cities, or turn to poaching for ivory or bush meat to sell. A downward spiral.
Alley cropping with Inga edulis trees. After c2 years growth the trees are pruned. Brush makes mulch within the alleys. Larger prunings become firewood. Crops inside the alleys produce up to 15x yield outside. Inga regrows and the cycle is repeated year on year, increasing fertility and yields. No need to move, or to burn more forest. Our trainers come to a village, train farmers, make a tree nursery and work with them through the process till harvest. New villages are requesting training.