Stichting Samay


Erosion is a major problem in the higher Andes:

1 because of the agricultural techniques used and

2 because the cattle eat all the green in the dry season and then wash away the fertile upper layer of soil during the wet season.


With farming families we plant orchards with an average of 50 fruit trees. This increases food and income security. Depending on the height of the village, it concerns apple, peach, avocado trees and some local varieties.
Mostly we work specifically with agroforestry. In this proces vegetables, fruit and higher deciduous trees are mixed. The higher trees play a protective role against wind and hail and they specifically enrich the soil by supplying organic materials. Fruit and vegetable varieties complement each other. We work with integrated systems that enrich the ground. Hereby we deliberately break with the monoculture that is traditionally and customarily practiced by small peasants in the Bolivian Andes. Agroforestry functions very well economically and environmental. The food security improves and soil gets enriched.
Implementation takes place at an altitude between 1,800 to 3,800 meters. The planting is happening in August. If necessary, a protection is made against cattle and/or birds.

Tree planting is realized in collaboration with local foundations, farmers' cooperatives, schools and municipalities.
We are currently investigating the use of terrain for trees and livestock simultaneously (silvipastoral)

Other tree planting

Tree planting as a measure against erosion, windbreaks, nature restoration and on schools:

- We plant trees as a measure against erosion on strategic locations, such as mountain slopes and river banks, so that the ground does not wash away when the river goes outside its banks

- Wind hedges

We encourage the planting of wind hedges. Hedges of trees that break the wind and create a microclimate. A few rows of trees are also used to reinforce terraces and to perpetuate them

- Nature restoration;

Where possible we plant native trees. Although native trees are not seen as very useful by the farmers, because, among others, they do not produce straight production wood

We plant local tree species in protected parks with a protected status

- With farmer families on the plateau: In some villages on the high plateau we plant trees at the village schools and near the homes of the families.

- Commercial tree planting;

We help with the planting of pine trees, by paying 50% of the cost price. This planting of conifers often has a commercial objective, namely the sale of the wood and thus a source of income, often after 12 to 20 years. This usually takes place on 1 or a few hectares on different locations. We do this in collaboration with municipalities, farmers and local communities.  

- At schools:

The pupils are asked to plant some trees, if possible on their school grounds or on public land. It concerns urban students in Cochabamba and even more village students in Northern Potosi. We carry out a theoretical and practical teaching program at their schools. The practical part consists, among other things, of tree planting. This is very needed on the bare eroded areas of North Potosi (3,800 meters).