Persuading and enabling farmers to take up the sustainable farming practice of Inga alley cropping is good, and can be successful. However, educating the next generation is also very important, and it is often easier to change the ways of the young than of older people. Dr. Guillermo Valle, assisted by colleagues from CURLA (part of the National University of Honduras) has been teaching rural senior high school students and their teachers about the environment and sustainable farming practices. Small Inga alley plots have been planted at several schools to provide a practical demonstration of this good technique to both the students and any of their parents that want to see it.
The first school Inga plot in Honduras was pruned a couple of weeks ago.
Well grown Inga before pruning. Note how dark it is under the trees towards the back
Dr. Guillermo Valle (in front) has been explaining and directing operations. Note how an open alley, covered in leaves which will protect and fertilize the soil, has appeared between two rows of pruned Inga.
A large pile of firewood has been obtained from the bigger branches. You can see the cleared alley covered by the smaller branches and leaves, with Inga further back still waiting to be pruned.
Not only did the students learn about this technique but two farmers came along to see the pruning as well. Two trees at a corner were left unpruned so as to supply seed for the future, for example to give to some of the students and their parents to plant in their farms. Several weeks later, when the prunings have started to rot down, crops will be sown in the alley. As they grow, the Inga will regrow, ready for pruning again the next year.
In Cameroon Atanga Wilson Nebafor, one of the community leaders working with our partner, Gaston Bityo, has also introduced the Inga technique to a primary school. The story is told in the pictures below.
Mr. Atanga distributing Inga seedlings to enthusiastic school children
Mr. Atanga talking about the Inga to the pupils.
Posing for a photo, smiling with their Inga seedlings.
Pupils all set to plant their seedlings in a row to make the alley formation.
Planting the seedlings.
Young children are often the most eager students.
Tiiu-Imbi Miller, Mrs., PhD.
The Rainforest Saver Foundation
Scottish registered charity no. SC039007
+44 (0) 131 477 6970