Additional cattle ranches and farms join our project

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Rolman Velarde measuring out rows to plant Inga at the latest site to participate in our project, Las Palmas, close to Porbenir. We are working with the owner to rehabilitate 2 ha of abandoned agricultural land with the aim of producing one hectare of rubber and one of fruit trees. Image: Rolman Velarded, Herencia.

As highlighted in previous posts we are aiming to engage with cattle ranchers and non-subsistence farmers as well as rural communities. The reason for doing so is that these larger-scale enterprises arguably have just as big an impact on natural forest as small scale slash-and-burn farmers. In March we planted our first Inga trial to enrich degraded cattle pasture at San Antonio cattle ranch and this April we have planted 2 ha of Inga on abandoned land at the Las Palmas farm. We also have another interested rancher, Ruben Burgos, and look forwards to planting on his ranch as soon as we have sufficient seedlings to do so.  With respect to engagement we are using a different strategy with cattle ranchers and farmers than that which we developed to work with rural communities. This strategy involves us providing seedlings and training but expecting the farmers to prepare, plant and maintain the site for the time it will take the seedlings to develop into trees, probably 18-24 months.  We are also focussing on using Inga to promote cash crops, such as beef, fruit, rubber or timber trees, rather than subsistence food production. This requires a lower density of planting and best suits the needs of these larger-scale farmers.

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An employee of the Las Palmas farm planting Inga seedlings that will be used to support fruit tree production. For the production of fruit trees Inga is planted as a 3 x 3 m grid. Image: Rolman Velarde, Herencia

 

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