This is to show Frank what I mean when I say that here in the Amazon the people have not yet learned to till the soil.
This photo shows literally what all the smoke in the Amazon is all about. This is subsistance farming and the infamaous slash and burn. As the forestry laws do not allow the people to harvest any timber on thier property without paying more in fees to obtain a license than they earn in a year to earn a meager living for themselves they resort to slash and burn as shown here.
By the size of the trees you can see that this area was burnt over about five years ago and has probably been burnt 20 or 30 times over the years. No one is going to say anything to the owner for trying to raise food for his family in this method but if he were to cut one tree for sale and earn more than slash and burning the whole area he would have it confiscated. The crop you see starting is a mixture of corn and yuca/cassava/manioc that will not feed his family for two weeks but if he could sell two trees he could for a month.