Impoverished farmers turn to "slash and burn agriculture" when they desperately need fertile land for their crops.
Trees are cut down and the foliage burned so that the ashes can provide nutrients to the newly cleared plot of land. When the fires cool, farmers sow their crops for a few seasons — until the nutrients dissipate and they move on to the next plot of forest to start the cycle over again.
Humans have been using this method for subsistence farming for the past 12,000 years, and it’s still a popular practice in remote areas of South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. It’s estimated that as many as 500 million people — or 7 percent of the world’s population — depend on slash and burn agriculture.
Read the full story from The Hill.
Note: The Foundation's NextGen Commitee awarded a $100,000 grant to Inga Foundation in December 2019. Read more here.