Last week, me, Geoffrey and Marc visited the most organised Agroforestry in Brazil. The farm, Fazenda Ouro Fino, is owned by Henrique Sousa, an agronomist who has always been implementing Agroforestry Systems for many years.
The farmland on which Henrique Sousa started, was suffering from pasture degradation. Pasture degradation is one of the greatest problems related to land use in the Amazon region, forcing farmers to open new forest areas. Now, his Agroforestry is considered to be the most inspirational and profitable one in Brazil, selling açaí (Brazilian native tropical fruit), cocoa, cupuaçu, mandioca, jackfruits, bananas and much more. It was very impressive to see the diversity of the system, how well organised and managed.
We helped him managing an area that people from the last course he gave started and also to prune some fruit trees in his farm. Henrique mentioned that the production of cocoa from his whole region fell significantly this year while at Fazenda Ouro Fino didn’t decrease at all. He says that this is due to the amount of organic matter and layers of trees in his system which allow cocoa trees to get a higher rate of photosynthetic reaction and water reserve inside the soil. It’s very inspirational to see how plants behave differently in multiple ecosystems, that makes you learn a lot on how can you make a proper design of plants according to the landscape given.
Henrique is now focusing his time on spreading his knowledge amongst many other people on this planet, such as Hawaii, USA, etc. His dream is that people can replicate Agroforestry systems on their pieces of land and inspire people by inviting them to visit the Ouro Fino Farm in Bahia, Brazil.
About Henrique Sousa and the Ouro Fino farm
The Sintrópica Agriculture, technique of cultivation used at the farm, seeks a balance between earth and man. It would be the connection to nature and a practical understanding of how plants relate to each other, to soil and water.
Despite all the necessary technical knowledge, the human side is a very important factor for the prosperity of the farm. It is noticed that the same affection dedicated to a visitor, is also dedicated to the planting. Love, empathy and dedication are words that many visitors use to describe what they feel there.
Check the website of the farm, Fazenda Ouro Fino.