An Amazing Agroforestry Story: The Inga Model In Central America


GBH Forum Network – Mar 9, 2021

The Inga Foundation’s founder and director Mike Hands has been working to halt the destruction of rainforests from slash and burn agriculture for over 20 years. An experienced tropical ecologist and scientific researcher, Mike divides his time between his farm in Cornwall, UK, and the Inga Foundation’s Land for Life program in Honduras.

Now in year 10, the locally-led program has exceeded all expectations (100% organic food security, protecting wildlife and marine habitats, enriching and improving soil, and preserving water sources) and been recognized as a game changer for people and the planet with 2,600 acres of highly degraded land regenerated, and 284,000 tons of CO2 sequestered/avoided. The program is replicable to the entire humid tropics with native Inga. The “Guama Model” of Inga Alley Cropping with the nitrogen-fixing Inga has transformed the lives of 300+ rural, subsistence farming families who have planted over 4 million trees. The resilient, fast-growing Inga tree alleys provide annual, renewable firewood and survived 7 months of drought and the recent back-to-back hurricanes.

Distinguished professor Rattan Lal talks with Mike Hands about the program’s success and promise.

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