Degraded cattle pasture in the Pando, Bolivia

Darwin Initiative project to promote perma-culture and restore abandoned pasture


Inga agroforest as we plan to have in place by 2015

Inga agroforest as we plan to have in place by 2015

As part of a Darwin Initiative project awarded in March of this year http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/blogs/tropicalbotanyresearcher/2013/05/02/darwin-initiative-grant-to-work-in-the-bolivian-amazon a team comprising foresters from the Bolivian NGO Herencia http://www.herencia.org.bo/ and botanists from the Tropical America Team at Kew are seeking to reduce pressure on the tropical forests of the Bolivian Amazon.

Degraded cattle pasture in the Pando, Bolivia

Degraded cattle pasture in the Pando, Bolivia

We are aiming to do so by encouraging the establishment permanent agriculture (permaculture) on degraded cattle pasture and disused slash and burn (chaco) sites through a series of demonstration plots established in partnership with four rural communities. Our aim is to use trees of the Inga genus of the legume family (beans, pulses, tamarind) to capture and restore soil fertility over a period of 18 months and then pollard the trees so that crops can be grown between the rows. Inga is the ideal genus to do so as it thrives and grows quickly, up to 6 m in two years, in the very acidic, poor degraded soils of abandoned chaco and cattle pasture. It captures and rehabilitates sites by shading out weeds, enriching the soil with its specialized roots and abundant leaf litter and attracting a host of biological control agents to protect the crops.

2 thoughts on “Darwin Initiative project to promote perma-culture and restore abandoned pasture”

  1. Hi Alex, thanks for introducing yourself by following our site. It looks like we have a lot in common and we look forward to exploring yours further. (Tell us more about the nettles!– nettle soup is a favorite…) If you’re on facebook we also invite you to visit the RAXA Collective page. Happy Holidays and see you there!

    1. Hi Raxa. And thank you for getting in touch. Yes I think we do and will look you up on Facebook. There is a lot to tell with nettles and I am setting up another blog for them. Great to know that there is some interest out there. Happy Christmas, Alex

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