Is Syntropic Agriculture the Key Towards Sustainable Farming?
Ernst Götsch is a Swiss-born farmer who moved to Brazil in the early 80s. He was declared insane when in ’84 he bought 480 hectares of degraded farmland in the state of Bahia. Determined to revive the land in a sustainable and profitable manner, Götsch developed a set of principles and techniques that enabled him to combine food production together with the natural regeneration of the forest. To describe this process, he coined the term Syntropic Agriculture. Jua Pereira, Biologist and Farmer summarises it as follows:
We needed to find a regenerative system that works. It needed to be productive and profitabale because sustainability has to be economic, social and environmental.
To achieve his goal he takes four important steps. 1) He focusses on favouring photosynthesis; 2) Actively intervenes in the metabolic processes of the macro-organism by periodic heavy pruning; 3) Optimises the recycling processes and 4) Utilises the dynamics of natural species succession, directing it towards a positive balance in terms of complexity, quantity and quality of established life. The result? A highly productive plantation, which produces its own fertiliser, increase in black soil and nutrients therewithin, together with, achieving better water retention and circulation capabilities. Fazenda da Toca actually produces one of the finest and expensive cacao on the market. Watch the clip below and be amazed by what he managed to achieve. Visit Agenda Gotsch for more information on the project.