Final Report for FS99-098
Farming on highly erodible and steeply sloping land is adversely affecting water resources due to erosion in Puerto Rico. Sustainability of agriculture in land like this must be focused on agroforestry practices. These producers used their producer grant to conduct workshops on compost production and to demonstrate conservation practices focused on agroforestry techniques.
The producer grant recipients worked with other farmers who were reluctant to plant trees on their farms many reasons. They informed the farmers of desirable trees for agroforestry uses that are common in the forest, but are not available commercially. They demonstrated tree propagation techniques which were unknown to most of the farmers. They also informed the farmers about tropical shade crops that, in the past, formed part of the production system in the mountains and that had fallen out of favor as higher input agriculture has been adopted.
Demonstration workshops for farmers included cooperators from government agencies who were encouraged to disseminate information about the benefits of trees and the commercial possibilities for agroforestry products. The inclusion of agroforestry in farming operations on highly erodible land can help make agriculture sustainable in tropical mountains.