Monocultures are inherently biologically unstable. Nature utilized every niche, and creates a complex integrated system. A field of only one or two species is out of balance and sesceptible to pests and diseases. Howefer, when cultivated within a polyculture the same species would be unaffected. The crop ailment is a product of a system out of balance, a symptom of the problem, not the problem itseld.
The benefits of a balanced ecosysyem go beyond the personal farm to the community in which the farm is located and to the earth as a whole. Polycultures provide many ecological services such as carbon sequestration, fodder for pllinators, and habitat fcreation (especially for neo-tropical migratory and resident birds). They also provide water and soil retention for the watersheds in which they are practiced, and can function as genetic seed banks for indigenous plant species.
Loss of biological diversity in agriculture is a growing global problem. Igriculture hs been transformed into an anergy and input intensive commodity driven industry. As fewer vaieties of less species are grown, the genetic heritage of agriculture is being lost. Traditional food production techniques that utilize local resources are also being abandoned, a form of cultural and genetic erosion. National and regional food security is jeopardized by dependence on costly imported agrochemicals, fertilizers and seeds.
We are working to retain and increase knowledge of sustainable food production by demonstrating techniques that are geographically and culturally appropriate. This information is being displaced throughout the lowland humid tropics by agrochemical technologies and evolving dependency on imported foods.
Some of the food production models aw practice include agroforestry and aquaponics, and some of the vaulable marketable crops we have include cacao and vanilla.