The expansion of the agricultural frontier (mainly monocultures), excessive logging, burning and clearing of forests for cattle are the most destructive activities reported. In cocoa producing states and those with great potential to produce, people opt for the cutting of trees and the planting of other crops such as sugar cane and corn, which erodes the soil due to burning for harvesting, increasing deforestation and environmental pollution, destroying the habitat of several species of flora and fauna and reducing CO2 absorption.
It is easy to deduce that processes such as these are generating very strong microclimatic changes in the basins of the forest in these regions. And climate change manifests itself in intense rainfall and prolonged droughts, which when in a scenario of increasing desertification increases the risks to the area.
Agroforestry is an alternative production that contributes to the reduction of vulnerability and the impact of human activities on these fragile ecosystems. Agroforestry creates an agroecosystem similar to a natural ecosystem before being tapped, protects soils from heavy rainfall, maintains the water cycle and biodiversity and thus ensures greater sustainability as compared to monoculture systems.
Agroforestry is the production of annual crops or permanent, in combination with forest species, which recreate the main functions of the forest. Agroforestry systems constitute one way to produce without exhausting resources (land, water and forest), as most of the soils are suitable for forestry and forest protection.
Conventional agriculture is not viable in the long term.
In recent years the areas of cocoa in agroforestry systems has increased because the prices of these products in the international market have increased and have remained relatively stable. This is important because the main problem in Mexico is deforestation as a result of practices of shifting cultivation and logging. This situation changed the normal cycles of climate variables (rainfall mainly), which has affected normal crop development. The phenomena of excessive rains and droughts in recent years is manifested in shorter cycles, plus the risks to floods, landslides and droughts have increased.
In this context, the cultivation of cocoa in agroforestry systems is a productive reforestation and an economical alternative because it generates a steady income and can sell more value, as special product in the international market.
The forests of our cocoa farmers not only produce the best cocoa, but also support a wide range of biodiversity.