Fields are to be prepared with minimum disturbance to the soil (no-tillage farming). In consequence, manual clearing should be preferred to mechanical deforestation because bulldozers always remove topsoil with the important organic matter and compact the remaining soil. When an old natural fallow is cleared, the debris from the forest should be burned if plantain cultivation is planned for 1 or 2 cycles only. If perennial cultivation is being considered, planting should be done through the mulch .Young fallows of about 3 to 5 years or improved legume fallows should be simply slashed and left without being burned.
Trees must be cut but the stumps are not to be removed, and the trees should be left to grow again. They can be pruned only when they start to obstruct field activities or shade the plantains. Once the fallow crop is slashed, the field is ready for pegging. Drains should be dug if some spots in the field tend to waterlog after heavy rains.