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Updated: Jan 30

This film goes deeper into how alley cropping with Inga also encourages farmers to think about the benefits of toxic pesticide and herbicide-free farming. Led by Faustino Reyes, one of the early pioneer alley cropping farmers, it demonstrates how alley-cropping re-fertilizes exhausted soils, encourages an ecological web of natural crop protection and also has the potential to retain colossal amounts of carbon in the soils.

Up in Smoke


Up in Smoke is a film about a technique that could save more carbon emissions annually than all global aviation combined. It is a film about one of the biggest contributors to tropical deforestation and global warming: slash and burn agriculture. The film follows British scientist Mike Hands, who has laboured for 25 years to perfect a sustainable farming technique to replace slash and burn farming in equatorial rainforests..

And he's found it.

But developing the technique was only the start. Now he needs to persuade governments, agencies and, more importantly than anyone else, the farmers to all adopt it.

This is a film about life and death struggles. About the struggle of Mike Hands to get people to understand his revolutionary technique. It's about the life and death struggle of the impoverished farmers who can ill afford to take the risk of adopting a new farming method. It's a film about our driving need to change what's happening to the remaining rainforests of the planet, and about the forces that may prevent that change from happening.

Mike Hands has the solution, but is the world ready to listen?

We follow three principal characters: Mike Hands, and two Honduran farmers, Faustino and Aladino. One has adopted and embraced Mike's technique, the other is waiting to be convinced and drive the change forward. Filmed over 3 years in Honduras and the UK, the film presents a historic opportunity to address one of the most urgent issues of the present day. It parallels the farmer's struggles with Mike Hands attempts to get heavyweight political backing, as he tries to get his technique onto the agenda at the 2009 Copenhagen Summit. But politics has its own way of interfering with the science.