Examples of plots that have already been established


The procedure above described is the same as the one used to establish an agro-forest system whose main crop is cocoa. Corn is planted along with beans as if it were a single crop. Depending on the conditions prevalent, the farmer plants manioc, cajanus cajan, hibiscus, papaya, banana (preferably different varieties), different types of palm trees, avocado, zapote (marmalade) - tree, mango, carambola - tree and other fruits, ingas (every two meters or more), cobalt bloom (Erythrina ssp.) and other secondary species available along with long life cycle trees like the Ceiba , rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), garlilc tree (Gallesia integrifolia) etc., depending on the species found in the ecosystem and the availability of materials.

Everything is planted at the same time and at very high densities. As the system progresses the pioneers are eliminated (corn, beans, hibiscus, cajanus cajan). Afterwards it's the papaya and the secondary species with short life cycles that are eliminated. This way the system opens-up gradually and the soil is constantly improved with the organic matter incorporated.

Young parcel with a cocoa system

The cocoa grows vigorously along with the other species. The manual work required for maintaining the parcel gradually decreases while the income from the diversified production increases constantly.


Quiet commonly oranges are cultivated as single crops. In the best of cases, they are allowed some green cover. However, our experience has demonstrated that oranges produce more and with less problems in agro-forest systems that have been adapted to the requirements of this crop.

Orange parcel (late Valencia) with a green cover of Glycine wighiti. This parcel had serious problems with a bark beetle that caused the death of several trees.
The same plot 3 years after converting it into an agro-forest system and before the pruning and stratification of the system.

The same parcel (after the pruning and stratification works).

The soil is uniformly covered by organic matter. To stimulate flowering, the trees are pruned 2 months before flowering, leaving the plant just like that, almost fully exposed to the sun. The trees planted to occupy the high stratum are selected from those species that loose their leaves in the dry season (e.i. Ceiba, cedrillo (Spondias mombin), Ochóo (Hura crepitan)s, Tarara (Centrolobium ochroxylum).

Even during prolonged periods of drought, the fruits remain juicy and healthy. There have been more attacks by the bark beetle. After 2 - 3 years sufficient organic matter has been produced to maintain a high flow of carbon and to maintain the ground permanently covered with material originating from the pruning and the falling foliage.

Income from the banana is sufficient to cover the total maintenance costs of the plantation. During the first years pineapples can be included in the system. Two crops that adapt perfectly to the lower stratums are coffee as well as cocoa.