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Contribution of cocoa agroforestry systems to family income and domestic consumption: looking toward intensification

Cerda R., Deheuvels O., Calvache D., Niehaus L., Saenz Y., Kent J., Vilchez S., Villota A., Martinez C., Somarriba Chavez E.. 2014. AgroForestry Systems, 88 (6) : p. 957-981.

While the potential of agroforestry products to contribute to rural livelihoods is well-recognized, the quantification of their yields, incomes, and value for domestic consumption (VDC) and knowledge about their relationships with biodiversity are still scarce. This information is crucial for choosing the best strategy for growing cocoa in tropical landscapes while conserving biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services. We analyzed the contribution of cocoa agroforestry farming to the incomes and domestic consumption of small farmers¿ families in 179 cocoa agroforestry systems (CAFS) (254 ha) in five Central American countries. The two hypotheses were: (1) agroforestry products are as important as cocoa in contributing to livelihoods, (2) the typology of CAFS determines the relationships between socioeconomic indicators and yield, biodiversity, and structure of the shade canopy, as well as the relationships between plant species richness and cocoa yield. We quantified the yields of agroforestry products and their contribution to net income, cash flow, and family benefits and developed a typology of CAFS production to evaluate relationships for each CAFS cluster. The main agroforestry products other than cocoa were bananas, oranges, peach palm, other fruits, and timber, which generated modest cash incomes but high VDC at low cash costs, thus contributing to family savings and food security. Timber volumes and harvest rates were low but significant increase was deemed feasible. The contribution of the set of agroforestry products to family benefits was similar or higher than cocoa, depending on the typology of the CAFS. Intensified highly diverse-dense CAFS demonstrated remarkably higher yields, net income, cash flow, and family benefits, and had more synergetic relationships than extensive CAFS and traditional highly diverse-dense CAFS, which showed more trade-offs. Our findings point to intensified highly diverse-dense CAFS as feasible for farming within a land-sparing strategy. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms that could regulate synergies or trade-offs to improve this type of intensification. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : Écosystème; service; rendement des cultures; musa; fruits; consommation alimentaire; consommation des ménages; revenu de l'exploitation; intensification; diversification; exploitation agricole familiale; petite exploitation agricole; analyse économique; produit forestier; theobroma cacao; agroforesterie; honduras; costa rica; panama; guatemala; nicaragua; amérique centrale; service environnemental

Thématique : Systèmes et modes de culture; Production forestière; Economie familiale et artisanale; Economie de la production; Economie de la consommation

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