One of the best ways to gain a real insight into the heart and history of the Inga Foundation is by watching Up In Smoke, a feature-length documentary by Adam Wakeling.
The film spans a three year time period in the early life of the Inga Foundation. It follows Mike Hands, our founder, as he works to connect with and convince local farmers to make the leap from slash and burn to Inga alley cropping. It is an honest account of his struggle to bring the issue of slash and burn farming to the forefront of ecological thinking.
Inga Foundation has come a long way since the film was completed. We have had some important successes and now have more projects than ever. We have continued to secure funding for the foundation and are ever inspired by the farmers that are practicing alley cropping for the first time and by those that have already adopted it.
But this is just the start, we still have a long way to go. Alley cropping has the potential to transform the lives of slash-and-burn farmers across the tropics. We are working hard to realize that possibility and are making significant progress, however we still face some key obstacles, especially in terms of funding.
Watch It Now:
“Slash and burn farming is one of the biggest contributors to deforestation, destroying biodiversity and sending huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Slash & burn sits at the crossroads of two of the greatest threats to global stability: accelerating climate change and diminishing food security.
Up In Smoke follows British scientist Mike Hands, who has laboured for 25 years to find a solution to replacing slash & burn agriculture in equatorial rainforests.
And he’s found it.
But perfecting this novel technique, called ‘alley cropping’, was only the start. Now he needs to persuade governments, agencies and, more important than anyone else, the farmers.
This is a film about a struggle for our future. About the heroic, sometimes quixotic, mission of Mike Hands to get people to understand his revolutionary method. It’s about the life and death struggle of impoverished farmers who can’t afford to risk adopting a new farming method. It’s a film about our driving need to change what’s happening to the planet’s rainforests, and about the pressures that may prevent that change from happening.
Mike Hands has a solution, but is the world ready to listen?
We follow three principal characters: Mike Hands himself, and two Honduran farmers, Faustino and Aladino, one of whom has adopted Mike’s technique, the other waiting to be convinced.
Filmed over 3 years, the film moves between the UK and Honduras on a dramatic path that leads eventually to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009. We get to see the proof of alley cropping, but will proof be enough to trigger real change? Politics has its own ways of interfering with the science.”