Naranjilla crop growing in a rainforest clearing

Naranjilla crop growing in a rainforest clearing

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A field of naranjillas, Solanum quitoense, growing in a clearing in the Amazonian rainforest of eastern Equador. This is an example of slash and burn agriculture. An area of forest is cleared of trees and burned. It is then planted with crops and harvested for several years before the farmer moves on to a new area. Naranjillas are one of the first crops to be grown, while the soil is still fairly fertile. Naranjillas ("little oranges" in Spanish) are much in demand in Ecuador for making fruit juices. Slash and burn is an ancient farming method. Practised on a small scale, it is probably the only sustainable form of agriculture in the poor soil of the tropical forests.

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Keywords: agriculture, cleared for crops, environment, field of, geography, naranjilla, rainforest, slash and burn, slash and burn agriculture, solanum quitoense

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