Our approach: agroforestry and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)
Monocultures are avoidable, as the alternatives deliver higher total yields over the long term: diversified agroforestry combined with Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). On cocoa farms, this means the use of suitable plant varieties, the proper use of shading from additional trees, the maintenance and improvement of soil fertility by natural means, environmentally friendly weed and pest control, and restorative post-harvest practices. Mixed cultivation with other crops, like bananas, papaya, or cassava, provides additional income and is complemented by sustainably grown trees for lumber.
As a result, it isn’t necessary to create new fields or fell trees in adjacent areas for lumber. The implementation of these practices is achieved through the development and transfer of knowledge in the communities and on the farms, regarding questions such as: How can the stock of cocoa trees continuously be rejuvenated? Which seedlings should be selected? How do cocoa trees have to be pruned? Which crops thrive in particular, and what additional functions do they have—for example, do they provide shade or improve the soil?