Pasture to Agroforestry Conversion
The process of agricultural domestication followed two different paths. In temperate regions, farmers usually domesticated a single crop and planted it as a monoculture, while in tropical regions farmers usually domesticated entire systems. The development of agriculture in lowland mesoamerica gave birth to three well known agroforestry systems.
The Milpa - a 20 year rainforest succession with usable products at every stage, the first two years are the most recognizable and bear among many other things the Mesoamerican triad (maize, beans, pumpkin), but less known are the other 18 who provide fuel, food, construction materials and medicines.
The Homegarden - a megadiverse agroforestry system close to the house for fruits and medicines.
The Cacaotal - a cacao based agroforestry system that provides a steady income for the family.
A key goal of Agrofloresta is to revive degraded pasture lands into economically productive agroforestry systems. Agroforestry systems take advantage of sunlight at different levels, at the top we find shade trees which can be used for food, nitrogen fixing, fuel or timber. Under the shade there are several levels of productive space with shade loving species like cacao, coffee or cardamom. Besides being the skyscrapers of food production, agroforestry systems provide environmental services such as soil improvement, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation. Smart agroforestry plannning can also make these systems highly economically productive for farmers.
Agroforestry System Benefits
biological pest control
We currently manage four separate agroforestry projects on the borders of conservation areas totaling over 90 hectares in different phases of pasture to agroforestry transition. We also support farmers who produce under agroforestry conditions.