Addressing slash and burn agriculture in West Central African Forests by finding an African equivalent to Inga
Forest recently cleared for planting yams, Dom, Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon, February 2006 (Yvette Harvey)
Slash and burn agriculture in forest of value for conservation is normal practice in many parts of Wet Tropics Africa. As forest areas shrink and population pressure rises, this is unsustainable.
We are assisting the Inga Foundation to find African parallel species to the Neotropical Inga species that are the basis for a type of alley-cropping that provides food security for a family permanently from a single hectare in Central America. A field trial of several species is planned in Congo (Brazzaville) with the support of a mining company. If successful this system has the potential to increase sustainable use of forest land throughout West-Central Africa.