The Inga Foundation
Slash and burn farming is one of the major contributors to deforestation and global warming. It sits at the crossroads of two of the greatest threats to global stability: accelerating climate change and diminishing food security.
The Inga Foundation grew out of a long term scientific research project into slash and burn agriculture and what alternative agriculture systems could be developed to help prevent farmers having to clear new areas of rainforest year after year, just to survive.
The Inga Foundation now works to help communities and farmers in Honduras, as well as elsewhere in the world, change from slash and burn to the tried and tested alternative system that emerged from years of dedicated research; Inga Alley Cropping.
Board of Trustees:
The Inga Foundation Board is made up of experts in tropical ecology who, between them, have over 150 years of experience.
- Michael Hands, Senior Research Associate, Univ. of Cambridge (1988-2002), UK.
- Dr. Tim Bayliss-Smith, Univ. of Cambridge. UK
- Dr. Terence Pennington, Honorary Fellow Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. UK
- William Vanderbilt, Chair of the Vanderbilt Family Foundation, USA
Up In Smoke: One Man’s Burning Issue
One of the best ways to gain a real insight into the heart and history of the Inga Foundation is through Up In Smoke, a feature-length documentary by Adam Wakeling that spans a three year segment of the Inga Foundation’s work. It follows Mike Hands, our founder, as he works to connect with and convince local farmers to make the leap from slash and burn to Inga alley cropping, and his struggle to bring the issue of slash and burn farming to the forefront of ecological thinking.
The Inga Foundation has come a long way since the film was completed. We have had some important successes and now have more projects, more funding and, crucially, far more farmers involved and practicing alley cropping.
But this is just the start, we still have a long way to go. Alley cropping has the potential to transform the lives of slash and burn farmers across the tropics. We are working hard to realise that potential and are making significant progress, however we still face some key obstacles, especially in terms of funding.