Agroecological Study of the Sustainability of Sugar Cane, Short Cycle Crops, and Agroforestry at the Farm Level in the SANREM CRSP – Ecuador Zone
Fabian Calispa; Marco Castillo; Errol G, Rhoden
Based on the participatory appraisal of the Guayllabamba River, there was a strong indication that the greatest amount of agriculture was being practiced on steep slopes subject to erosion. Conventional practices of monoculture, high external inputs, and mechanization have only led to further degradation of the soil and build up of crop pests. The dominant long cycle crop is sugarcane where plant residues are often burned rather than utilized. Short cycle crops include beans, cassava, and corn. From an agroecological perspective, a framework integrating colonial and local knowledge to obtain alternative fanning practices to improve soil and ecosystem health while providing necessary crop yields.
1. Study the way fanners manage the production subsystems existing in the area, related to sugar cane, short cycle crops, and forestry verifying the current level of system integrity. 2. Determine the reasons farmers have adopted the techniques they are using especially related to the perceived soil degradation. 3. Study techniques that would encourage the gradual recover of agro-ecosystem integrity and identify alternative management practices. 4. Generate knowledge with land users on the relationship between agriculture and the landscape as a whole and disseminate these insights to other community members.