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Conservation in Brazil's chocolate forest: the unlikely persistence of the traditional cocoa agroecosystem

by Johns, N.
Publisher: Ene 1999ISSN: 0364-152X.Subject(s): THEOBROMA CACAO | DALBERGIA NIGRA | CEDRELA ODORATA | AGROFORESTERIA | SISTEMAS DE CULTIVO | PROTECCION FORESTAL | AGROECOSISTEMAS | CONSERVACION DE LA NATURALEZA | RENDIMIENTO DE CULTIVOS | PLAGAS DE PLANTAS | BAHIA | BRASIL | THEOBROMA CACAO | DALBERGIA NIGRA | CEDRELA ODORATA | AGROFORESTRY | CROPPING SYSTEMS | FOREST PROTECTION | AGROECOSYSTEMS | NATURE CONSERVATION | CROP YIELD | PESTS OF PLANTS | BAHIA | BRAZIL | THEOBROMA CACAO | DALBERGIA NIGRA | CEDRELA ODORATA | AGROFORESTERIE | SYSTEME DE CULTURE | PROTECTION DE LA FORET | AGROECOSYSTEME | CONSERVATION DE LA NATURE | RENDEMENT DES CULTURES | RAVAGEUR DES PLANTES | BAHIA | BRESIL | SISTEMA CABRUCA | ASPECTOS ECONOMICOS | CAESELAPINIA ESPLINATA | CARINIANA BRASILIENSIS | CABRUCA SYSTEM | NATIVE TREES | TREES RETAINED | RISK FACTORS | FARMER PERCEPTION | SOCIOECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS | ECONOMIC ANALYSIS | CEPLAC | CHEMICAL PRODUCTSOnline Resources: En In: Environmental Management (EUA) v. 23(1) p. 31-47Summary: In southern Bahia, Brazil, the traditional cocoa agroecosystem with a dense shade canopy of native trees is now recognized as a secondary conservation route for highly endangered atlantic rainforest species. This "chocolate forest" of the densely shaded farms persists despite a massive 20-year brazilian government modernization program in wich shade was seen as a chief impediment to raising cocoa production. The objective of this study was to determine how this traditional agroecosystem endured. This research found that many farmers rejected, or only partially accepted, the shade reduction process although it promised much higher cocoa yield and profit. Policies designed to maintain the traditional agroecosystem through the current economic crisis should heed the multiple fuctions of the overhead trees.
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13 Ilus. 1 Tab. Bib. p.45-47

In southern Bahia, Brazil, the traditional cocoa agroecosystem with a dense shade canopy of native trees is now recognized as a secondary conservation route for highly endangered atlantic rainforest species. This "chocolate forest" of the densely shaded farms persists despite a massive 20-year brazilian government modernization program in wich shade was seen as a chief impediment to raising cocoa production. The objective of this study was to determine how this traditional agroecosystem endured. This research found that many farmers rejected, or only partially accepted, the shade reduction process although it promised much higher cocoa yield and profit. Policies designed to maintain the traditional agroecosystem through the current economic crisis should heed the multiple fuctions of the overhead trees.

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