For cultivation to become a healthy ecosystem and provide the above benefits, it is necessary first of all to improve the shade in the crops. This means taking into account the following criteria:
- The shadow plays an important role in the operation of the crop.
- The selection of species for shade should suit the needs of the farm or industry where you are. It is not the same as having crops in areas with natural forests than crops far away from them.
- The degree of diversification or variety in the shade should be high, but keep in mind the combination of species. Some cannot grow together with others because they harm its development and production.
- The place where you plant certain species is important as you should always think of the shape of the tree that is being planted and if that harms the good crop management.
- The amount of shade trees should be at least 40 per hectare.
- The amount of shade trees should be larger at the edges of the crop and especially close to natural forests and water sources.
You should try to plant native timber trees of economic interest in combination with various native fruit species
When planting timber one must take into account the future harvest to prevent damage to cocoa trees.
The type of leaves of the planted species for shade must be varied, giving priority to small-leaved species for indoor cultivation and higher leafs to the edges. This prevents damage to the tops of cocoa and improves the quality of litter to decompose.