Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Agroforestry in Amazon (and other tropical forests)

“For thousands of years tropical rainforests have been managed to sustain productive agriculture and, at times, to support dense human populations. Studies suggest that perhaps 12 percent of Amazonian terra firme (upland) forests are anthropogenic in nature, resulting from prolonged management by prehistoric populations. The fact that certain forms of agriculture are possible is a vital consideration for the sustainable, economic development of tropical rainforests.”
In short, the harmonious regenerative agricultural practices of indigenous farmers is desirable — whereas the monoculture industrialized agribiz requiring heavy use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and genetically modified crops is not.

Furthermore, the fact that the Amazon makes its own rain (self sustaining hydrological rain cycle) benefits all, including the agribiz operation. Clearing the land of the rainforest weakens that cycle. The Amazonians farming there before Columbus relies heavily on perennials more than annuals and did not clear cut vast expanses. The rain cycle was maintained. 

The Chinese, who will be including Brazil in their Belt and Road Initiative, in order to secure long term food sources, need to realize this and work with Brazilians so as to not ‘kill the goose that lays the golden eggs’.