Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Taungya and Silvopastoral

The “Taungya reforestation method” has been practiced primarily to rehabilitate wasteland, particularly under the Forest Village or diversified agroforestry programs . We refer to this as Silvopastoral in Cuba and the United States where it is practiced widely. While various combinations of trees and crops are found in the Taungya method in Oceana on a minor scale, the major combinations in the same area are teak with upland rice in the north, fast-growing trees with cassava in the northeast, fast-growing trees with maize in the west, and Para-rubber or fast-growing trees with fruit trees in the south. These combinations relate to the differences in climatic Pacific area conditions, mainly the duration of the zone dependent rainy season. They are also limited rather than preferred diverse crop systems employing more than two complimentary species with livestock as common practice is. In the Caribbean or Africa the concept remains the same but the cultivars slightly different again relating to climatic conditions, indigenous cultivars and culture. While practiced mostly on the equatorial belt implementation of Taungya/Silvopastoral methods reach into the Northern and Southern non tropical areas. To me it is the purest form of Agroecology where harmonious and complimentary plantings and livestock work in sync with the ecology of the place with least disruption to the land contributing to the ecosystem, carbon off set and preservation/proliferation of indigenous cultivars. A hybrid of intentional agriculture and mix return to hunter/gatherer that preserves remaining and creates new canopy all of which positively impact our fresh and ocean waters. The importance lies in our knowledge that agriculture (and even Agroecology) when land is cleared to perform it in and of itself is not sustainable. JAE NEEM www.neemtree.org