How do you feed a growing village without damaging the rainforest?

You need a miracle.
And we’ve found it.

You wouldn’t have thought it, but rainforest soil itself is pretty rubbish – thin and impoverished. It’s the compost heap of rotting leaves on top that makes the perfect growing conditions for lush canopies.

If you clear away the trees, this precious compost is washed away in a matter of weeks. So growing food in the rainforest presents a real challenge.

You could clear away a new plot each year, a method known as ‘shifting cultivation’, but you would soon run out of rainforest.

Or you could have a very strict rotation plan, but with more mouths to feed, these strict plans might fall by the wayside.

What you really need is a way to restore the compost heap whilst you grow your food. What you need is a miracle called Inga.

WHAT IS INGA?

How do you feed a growing village without damaging the rainforest?

 

Inga is a tree that you see everywhere in the Amazon. It grows straight and fast, so Inga is a great building material and fuel source. It also contains a delicious candyfloss inside its pods that kids love.

But the best thing about Inga is its secret power to restore soils. Planting rows of Inga trees in a food garden fixes nutrients within the soil and builds fertile mulch on which to grow. The trees also bring welcome shade for the crops.

As our partnerships grow and villages thrive, there’s more pressure than ever on the rainforest to provide food.

But by using Inga trees, existing gardens remain fertile for years, meaning plenty of food, without damaging the rainforest. A clever answer to a growing problem.

How do you feed a growing village without damaging the rainforest?

growing the future

Find out what happened when our partners from the Asháninka and the Awajún took a trip to Honduras to learn more about this remarkable plant.

Take the trip

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