João Gonçalves Zarco was a Portuguese explorer who discovered the islands. Forests were burned and the cultivation of grapes and sugar-cane were introduced with the sponsorship of Prince Henry the Navigator.
Editors. "Portuguese discover Madeira, settle and cultivate the island". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=9642, accessed 20 June 2013.]