Seven Sustainable Agriculture Techniques
Being Used in the Dominican Republic
Written by Plant With Purpose on July 28, 2015 in General, List
Rather than focusing on a single cash crop, agroforestry encourages companion planting, intercropping, and the use of trees within one’s farms. Tree crops are often more appropriate for the mountainous terrain rural farmers are left to cultivate. Greater crop diversity increases soil and growing conditions.
Plant With Purpose’s agronomists stay engaged with domestic agricultural institutions and pay attention to the local market. This keeps them informed on the newest varieties, which may provide greater yields or be disease resistant. The coffee rust disease recently took out a number of coffee plants. Plant With Purpose suggested replanting with cacao to get a higher yield with less labor. Organic cacao has become a strong component of the agroforestry plots.
SOIL CONSERVATION BARRIERS:
165 miles of soil conservation barriers have been established on farms throughout the Dominican Republic. Often rural farming families are left to cultivate steep hillsides. By establishing soil conservation barriers, runoff from rains is slowed down allowing the water to seep into the ground. They also provide a berm of soil for planting crops such as sugarcane or pineapples.
Making brews of water, soap, garlic, and other natural ingredients, Plant With Purpose partnering farmers have learned organic ways to manage pest. This liquid pesticide is sprayed on crops and even sold in small-business ventures.
Leoncio once thought that a good Dominican farm was a clean farm. He would burn debris from the trees and growth from harvested crops. Plant With Purpose encourages composting and now a large piles can be found strategically across his farm with mulch buffering previously exposed soil.
Fallow land is planted with cover crops, typically a legume, that fixes nitrogen. These plants are often directly tilled into the soil increasing the organic matter.
Plant With Purpose program participants take excursions to visit one another’s farms. Ideas, methods, and crop varieties are exchanged.