Problems with the Food Supply

Erosion of the soil (this also increases drinking water problems).

Soil nutrient depletion. The soil of the Amazon is nutrient poor.  Almost all available nutrients that fall on the ground are decomposed quickly.  The free nutrients are then quickly used by the living plants -leaving little nutrients available to grow food crops.


 This planting is also within the watershed (runoff area) for the stream the village uses for drinking water.


Small animals like chickens supply eggs and, rarely, meet.  This, and fish, is the main source of protein.

 Larger animals, like goats and cows, were tried as a food and protein source, but caused many problems in the village.  The larger animals ate much vegetation, causing the loss of plants, and increased erosion.  These animals also defecated often and randomly in the village, causing sanitation problems.


Sustainable Food Supply


The possible solutions include composting toilets that allow the nutrients in wastes to be supplied to the soil for use by the plants.



Rotation of crops to include nitrogen fixing plants like beans.

Keeping the ground between food plants covered with low-lying vegetation to help prevent soil erosion, evaporation, the solidification of the land during the dry season, and to help replenish the soil's nutrients.

Another beneficial strategy is to have some crop land go out of use for a period of five years or more in order for the soil to recover its nutrients



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