Agroforestry cocoa in Tingo Maria
Carried out on the outskirts of Eastern Amazon, the Agroforestry Cocoa project aims at offering cocoa producers in the Huánuco region a sustainable agricultural system.
Agroforestry has enabled us to offer our local partners a program consisting in planting a variety of native forest trees and fruit trees to meet their needs.
The province of Leoncio Prado (in the Huánuco region), after a period of great turmoil linked to drug trafficking in the 1970s and 1980s, experienced in the 1990s the development of the cocoa industry which reproduced the agronomic errors of traffickers whose illegal crops were produced in intensive monoculture.
Besides intensive cocoa production depleted geologically ancient soils, which caused a high accumulation of cadmium, a carcinogenic heavy metal, in the beans.
Also, the town of Tingo María is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains at the entrance to the Amazon basin therefore its tropical climate is suitable for growing cocoa. However, the increasingly marked climate change at the local level is resulting in longer and longer summers where cocoa suffers from water stress and excessive sunshine. In winter, rains and floods clog the soil and increase the risk of disease.
A set of problems that the forest can solve!
CAICAH, a choice player and a major player
This part of the programme is being carried out hand in hand with the Alto Huallaga Cocoa Agroindustrial Cooperative (CAICAH), which includes nearly 400 farmers in the regions of Huánuco, San Martin and Ucayali. This is an ambitious project since CAICAH is the second largest cocoa exporter in Peru.
The project is currently in a pilot phase and aims at enhancing the transition of around 100 cocoa producers from a monoculture approach to the development of varied agroforestry systems adapted to each plot. Thus, the project aims at improving the quality of production and its sustainability through tree planting, a comprehensive training programme and adapted awareness raising activities.
All activities are meticulously prepared with the help of CAICAH, which is totally involved for the well-being of its members and the sustainability of the project.