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Combination of cacao with other plantation crops: an agroforestry system in Southeast Bahia, Brazil


Brazil accounts for about 20% of the world production of cocoa, and about 95% of cocoa produced in Brazil is from the southeastern part of Bahia State. Traditionally, cacao is grown in monoculture (though under the shade of various other species). But various crop combinations involving cacao have recently been undertaken by the farmers with encouragement from Brazilian government.

As a part of the crop diversification programme in the traditional cacao growing areas and their surroundings, extensive areas are being planted to other plantation crops, mainly clove and rubber and, to some extent, coconut too. Crop combinations have been adopted in some of these new plantings and cacao is an important component of most of such combinations. Whereas several other crops are combined with clove trees, cacao is usually the only species grown with mature rubber trees. Young rubber trees are, however, interplanted with a number of other species. Productive coconut areas are found mostly in sandy soils along the coast so that there is little intercropping. However, scattered farms are found where coconuts are underplanted with guarana, black pepper, cacao, cashew, etc. as done commonly in other parts of Northeast Brazil.

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Alvim, R., Nair, P.K.R. Combination of cacao with other plantation crops: an agroforestry system in Southeast Bahia, Brazil. Agroforest Syst 4, 3–15 (1986).

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Key words

  • agroforestry
  • Bahia State (Brazil)
  • cacao
  • clove
  • coconut
  • crop combinations
  • plantation crops
  • rubber