Inga is a remarkable tree. It grows quickly, and has thick leaves which create a fertile mulch, fixing nitrogen and recycling phosphorus back into the soil. Prunings from the tree even provide firewood. If you plant crops between rows of Inga, you can get much higher yields, without using chemical fertilisers. The plot also stays fertile so there’s no need to clear rainforest for new plots.
Our Awajún partner communities wanted to learn more about this magic tree. Growing enough food for the community is a real concern. Currently, a third of children in the partnership are malnourished, and two-thirds have anaemia.
Crops like squash, beans and maize are high in iron, protein and vitamins. Being able to produce these crops sustainably will make a real difference to the health of the children, without compromising the health of the forest.
Thanks to your support, growers from the Awajún were able to spend a week with the Inga Foundation learning all about this revolutionary method of agriculture, alongside their contemporaries from the Asháninka partnership. They are incredibly excited about going back to their villages and to share what they’ve learnt in Honduras with their families in Peru.
Josue Morales, Cool Earth’s local coordinator, can’t wait to get started. He’s helping the growers to set up demonstration plots straight away. In order to start the trial, the community needs to buy some Inga seeds. But as it’s a native species, Josue thinks they may be able to get up to half of the seeds they need from the surrounding forest. The only other things needed are chicken manure to enrich the soil, a few tools, some powdered rock, and hard graft.
The first crops Josue and his team will try growing with the Inga method are bananas, maize, yucca, and beans. If the trial works, they’ll demonstrate the method to all the families in the community, and get Inga growing in all the food gardens.
You’re helping our partners to harness the power of trees and protect the future of the forest.