Slash and burn is a subsistence farming method used by millions of families in the tropics where a patch of forest is cut down and burnt in order to create an area of fertile soil on which they can grow their food. However, the soil fertility doesn’t last. Once cleared of trees and exposed to the strong tropical climate, the bare soil is rapidly stripped of valuable nutrients. The first year of slash and burn generally gives a good crop, the next year less so and, by the 3rd year, crops often fail completely. This forces family who depend on slash and burn to keep clearing fresh areas of rainforest every few years, just to survive.
The IngaFoundation are working with one family at a time to tackle the huge threat that slashes and burn poses. As well as protecting the rainforest, taking up Inga Alley Cropping allows families to escape the vicious cycle of slash and burn farming and gain genuine food security and a sustainable livelihood.