The traditional method of farming in the region involves the cutting and burning of trees and other vegetation to clear plots for the growing of crops. After several plantings, the topsoil is depleted and the farmer moves deeper into the forest and repeats the process. Fields are nutritionally exhausted after two years of agricultural use and may take fifteen years to recover. Instead of waiting on the fields to recover, farmers cut down more rainforests to grow more crops.
Okapi Conservation Project staff members train the local farmers in reclaiming their land as an alternative to going deeper into the rainforest to claim more land. These techniques improve existing farmland and increase crop productivity.
Farmers will be able to provide for their families using less land, and do not have to destroy rainforests to provide for their families and communities. With the rainforests intact wildlife species such as elephants and the okapi will be safe.
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