The Amazon is burning. The question: why? The answer: profit. We burn the forest for farmland because we think it will generate revenue. The land gets depleted before any real profit is made. We burn down forest to create more farmland. We are thinking in circles.

Why do farmers -big and small- burn the Amazon?

It’s what they know. Farmers learned that this is the way to clear land. They need money to feed their kids, buy clothes, get them to school and make a living. Farmers grew up with the ‘slash and burn treatment’. They have done this for generations. You cannot blame them. We, the consumers, are too large in number to change overnight. We put pressure on their production. We can play the blame game in circles too…

…but can we STOP the burning?

Yes, we can. We can stop the burning if we can prove to farmers that there is a better way to make a living. And there is a safer, more sustainable and profitable way: Agroforestry.

Why is agroforestry the solution?

Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” Today’s farmers focus on one crop. They grow corn, produce palm oil, or have cattle. There is never more than one source of income. This approach is easy, but also a massive gamble. Yields can fail, leaving entire families in despair. Prices can go down- and all crops go to waste. 

Farmers can grow multiple crops either on their own or together in a cooperative. This makes them less dependent on yields or changing prices. And this is only one of the advantages. The main benefit reaches us all: Agroforestry guarantees the land does not die within a few years. You don’t need to burn down more forest to grow crops successfully. You can use the existing land year after year after year. As a farmer, you: Use the same land, restore nature and bring back biodiversity while also making money!

How can we make agroforestry a success?

Applying agroforestry requires knowledge of mixed crops, how to build a system with multiple yields, different seasons and techniques. reNature helps farmers by setting up one-hectare model farms to show people how it can be done. Together with larger communities, we build model schools to share knowledge on agroforestry systems including training and a tree nursery where the necessary seedlings directly available.

We say #PrayforAmazonia. Stop burning things down and start lifting each other up.

Let’s make agroforestry mainstream.

With your support we can build more model farms and schools, helping more farmers switch to a multicrop system.

Header image is made by Kainaz Amaria | NPR
Categories: Awareness

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