Our first Inga agroforest plot four months on

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Inga seedling planted on February 27 with the Motacusal community. This picture was taken on June 27 and shows how quickly Inga edulis can grow on an abandoned slash-and-burn site. Click on image to watch a clip.

We have established Inga agroforest plots on abandoned slash-and-burn sites, degraded pasture and land used for road grading where the topsoil is removed with a bulldozer. Our seedlings have established on all of these sites but with slower growth and more ill-health on the bull-dozed and pasture sites.  We planted out our plot at Motacusal, an abandoned slash-and-burn site, four months ago and since then the seedlings have done very well, some growing to 1.5 m in height. At this site we have 1,200 plants growing and they look close to ‘capturing’ the site, that is to dominating the weeds and no longer requiring weeding. Thanks to the nectaries on their leaves most of the seedlings have their own group of ants taking the nectar and protecting the plant from leaf-eating insects such as crickets, grasshoppers and stick insects. As the dry season is just beginning here, with rainfall reducing to once a week, it will be interesting to see whether the seedlings continue to grow or become dormant until the rains return in November. Overall a very positive start!

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View of the Motacusal site four months after planting. Although the site has been recently weeded it is clear that we our close to capturing the site.

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