Agroforestry the future of agriculture for our planet
At Eco Caminhos, agroforestry is one of our main projects. We believe that agroforestry is “the answer” to the environmental crisis our world is facing. It is a form of agriculture that uses the natural forests as its teacher. Natural forests have evolved over billions of years into perfectly balanced ecosystems that create abundance for all life on our planet. In contrast, monoculture has destroyed most of our forests in the past 10,000 years, consuming all fertility of the soil and leaving nothing behind but poor soils that depend on fertilization and irrigation for planting. In large parts of our world, these practices have caused rising temperatures, droughts, and enormous deserts. Despite this knowledge today, we continue to destroy our planet with subsidized monoculture agriculture practices that use chemical processed fertilizers, inefficient techniques with high consumption of fossil fuels, and chemicals to fight pests. Even from a capitalist point of view, we can see how ignorant we are. Research in the US has shown that for monoculture, we have to invest 7 calories of energy to harvest 1 calorie of food. Monoculture is not efficient at all. We pollute the air, our own drinking water, and eat products full of chemicals. We then go to the pharmacy to consume more chemicals to treat the effects of chemicals in our bodies. Despite this, some people still claim that agroforestry cannot feed our world. We believe it is the only way to keep the earth liveable for the human race by reestablishing a well-balanced ecosystem, while feeding 8 billion people. We are only at the start of understanding the complex processes of our forests. We believe that in the next 20 years, agroforestry will become more and more recognized as the solution to all the problems mentioned above. At Eco Caminhos, we have been studying and practicing this incredible technique for 7 years and feel we have only just begun. The Atlantic Forest has over 300.000 different types of animals and plants. We only work with a approximately 250 species. This shows how much we still have to learn about the vast biodiversity of our planet.