We received a question from Carlos, who is from Manaus and would like to implement an agroforestry on 32 hectares, in an area that is already a forest. He wants to implant cocoa, açaí and a tree component in which he would use native species, such as cumaru, chestnut, andiroba. Carlos also comments that he intends to carry out forest management to remove some specimens for commercial use (timber) and that after this management he will start to implement agroforestry in the 32 hectares, which aims to enrich the area and obtain economic return.
“My big question is in relation to how to manage this 32 hectares for the implementation of agroforestry because it is an area of advanced forest. Because it generates a lot of material and requires a lot of manpower to organize the area. Do I really have to put all the material on the ground to generate the growth pulse or is a partial handling of light opening for each field enough to generate the pulse?”
Hi Carlos, thanks for your question. As it is a complex situation, we will answer your question in parts:

First point, forest management in native areas

In order to carry out forest management, it is necessary to present a management plan to the environmental agency of your state, whose content must include an inventory of the species, that is, a list of which species occur, what estimate of the quantity of species that occur and what volume of wood to be removed. Once this Management Plan is finalized and approved by the environmental agency, before collecting the species of interest, it will be necessary to carry out a census, that is, a 100% survey of the area from which the species that will be removed, the measurement and volume of each individual and the specific areas in which you will make the withdrawal. Both the Management Plan and the execution of management are costly, both technically (as it involves hiring professionals in the area for technical monitoring, writing the Management Plan and inventories), and operationally. Having done this first management to harvest species for commercial use, especially wood, a relative opening of light will be created. An important observation is that at the end of this process, it may be that only a few trees per hectare will be removed. In any case, when trees are removed through sustainable forest management, it is necessary to clean or cut lianas or vines at least a year before, and it is necessary to identify which trees are in the surroundings and how the fall will be carried out. tree with as little clearing damage as possible. It is not a simple or easy process and it has to be very well technically advised.

Second point, the conversion of the area into agroforestry

As it is a forested area, you will also need a Management Plan to be submitted to your state's environmental inspection agency and authorization from the agency before starting the conversion. The Management Plan will describe which actions will be carried out, which area, species, etc. After approval, a first step that can be taken is to identify species that can be removed for light, such as pioneer species that are already senile.
Opening a clearing for the implementation of an agroforestry system in the Amazon Forest in Pará. Photo: PRETATERRA.

Third point, is it necessary to put all the material on the floor to generate the pulse?

It is necessary to understand the cost-effectiveness of carrying out the pulse, because at the same time it is interesting that the pruned material, crushed as much as possible, stays in contact with the material to decompose, feed soil microlife, etc., this is a very expensive operation. also. A solution would be to do partial management: for example, thin branches, leaves and branches of vines, we can leave in the ground. The thicker branches can be taken out for firewood or something, or they can even be burned in the area very carefully and carefully in isolated piles. This opening, the removal of pioneer or shorter-cycle individuals, malformed, sick individuals, opens up a little light and will allow us to enter with secondary species, such as cocoa, cumaru or even chestnuts and andiroba. This can be done, for example, in rows, to facilitate understanding of the number of plants per hectare that have been planted. Ideally, this forest enrichment should be done in a systematic way to facilitate operationalization, but also so that, based on the number of plants per hectare, it is possible to estimate the expected production.

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