Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families

by EcoLogic Development Fund
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 Families

Dear GlobalGiving supporter,

I wanted to share with you this recent video about the benefits farmers have experienced as they incorporate agroforestry into their farming practices in Ixcan, Guatemala. You will hear from several community members who have been part of the project share how they are experiencing the benefits that planting trees with crops brings about. I hope it gives you a better sense of how your support is making a difference on the ground.

I work with these communities day in and day out. I know how much they appreciate the positive impact you are making in their lives and on their forest through your support of EcoLogic. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me at mdeleon@ecologic.org. Or, better yet, come visit us and see for yourself!

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de León, Program Officer, Guatemala

EcoLogic Development Fund

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Luis on land with year-and-a-half old Inga trees
Luis on land with year-and-a-half old Inga trees

Dear GlobalGiving supporter,

Happy New Year! We are grateful to you for your support of this project and for making this work possible.

For this update, I want to share with you the story of Luis, a farmer in San Antonio Tzejá in Guatemala. He is mostly dedicated to the production of basic grains such as corn, beans, but has recently increased the production of species such as cardamom. Before that Luis had tried his luck with cattle but because of the low prices, he was forced to get rid of them--leaving behind the degraded pasture on which he kept his animals.

After being used for raising livestock the land was overgrazed and not a good option for agriculture. Luis was a part of one of the communities EcoLogic works in, where he learned about the recovery of degraded lands through agroforestry. Integrating trees within agricultural lands has remarkable ecological and economic advantages. Agroforestry systems can: replenish soil nutrients and help retain moisture; reduce erosion; increase crop yields; create habitat buffers; and limit pressure on standing forests.

EcoLogic trains subsistence farmers in these techniques to reduce slash-and-burn agriculture and improve their food security. Agroforestry practices are considered one of the key strategies for the development of climate-smart agriculture.

After learning all of this, Luis wanted to try to make his land productive again by planting Inga on his pasture land. After two years of growth of the Inga edulis trees, total canopy coverage was achieved, thus preventing the growth of the forage grasses for cattle. The roots of the Inga trees succeeded in softening the land and fixing nitrogen in the soil. The mulch from the leaf litter also helped make the land fertile again so that he was able to plant cardamom in the third year.

Because Luis is getting older his daughter, Angelica, is helping him in the agricultural work. Angelica likes cardamom production, which is why she has been involved in her father’s activities. They have now managed to recover 3 hectares and during the Inga edulis seed production season, they are filling bags to produce more plants. This year they plan to extend the recovery of land to one more hectare, their shared goal is to expand agroforests on everything that was once a pasture.

I have included a few pictures for you. I work with these communities day in and day out. I know how much they appreciate the positive impact you are making in their lives and on their forest through your support of EcoLogic. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me at mdeleon@ecologic.org. Or, better yet, come visit us and see for yourself!

Saludos,


Mario Ardany de León
Program Officer, Guatemala
EcoLogic Development Fund

Pasture used for raising cattle
Pasture used for raising cattle
Luis and Angelica on plot with Inga and cardamom
Luis and Angelica on plot with Inga and cardamom
Angelica preparing bags to produce more Inga trees
Angelica preparing bags to produce more Inga trees
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Eduardo checks seeds for quality control
Eduardo checks seeds for quality control

Dear GlobalGiving Friends,

In northern Guatemala, EcoLogic is working with 153 farming families to help them grow their crops in a more sustainable way using agroforestry practices. This includes an approach called “alley cropping” which entails planting crops between rows of trees. One of the trees we use to establish these systems is called “guama” or Inga edulis.

During the months of March through May, Inga edulis trees produce copious seeds. The producers in the communities take the opportunity to make seedbeds and thus increase their ability to plant Inga each year. As neighboring communities and other local institutions have seen the benefits of agroforestry, there has been interest in replication, which has made it possible for these farmers to sell the seeds to other producers and interested organizations.

This year EcoLogic-supported producers were able to sell 65,500 seeds to carry out diversification of agroforestry systems in the region. This resulted in Q. 19,012 or about $2,400 in supplemental income for these farming families. Producers like Eduardo, from the community of San Antonio Chiquito, in Ixcán, Guatemala, were able to sell their seeds and generated additional income for his family.

The farmers practicing agroforestry have realized that they can benefit from planting Inga edulis on their land, which helps in the recovery of degraded lands, provides firewood, gives shade to their crops. But they can also have economic benefits from the sale of seeds and that is an incentive to keep working.

Thank you for your interest in this work!

Mario Ardany de Leon

Program Officer, Guatemala

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Organization Information

EcoLogic Development Fund

Location: Cambridge, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ecologicdevfund
Project Leader:
Barbara Vallarino
Cambridge, MA United States
$3,107 raised of $10,866 goal
 
35 donations
$7,759 to go
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