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Chocolate CrisisClimate Change and Other Threats to the Future of Cacao$
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Dale Walters

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401674

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401674.001.0001

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Cacao, Shade, and Agroforestry

Cacao, Shade, and Agroforestry

(p.138) 13 Cacao, Shade, and Agroforestry
Chocolate Crisis

Dale Walters

University Press of Florida

In its natural habitat, cacao grows in the shade of larger trees. In fact, 70 percent of the world’s cacao is grown with some level of shade. This comes mostly from native forest trees, thinned out to provide space for cacao seedlings to be planted, or to a lesser extent, from trees specially planted to provide shade. This mixture of shade trees and shrubs creates a three-tier canopy, resulting in a multi-species system similar in structure and function to a forest, known as an agroforest. Cacao agroforestry systems include full-sun cacao, diversified-shade cacao, and specialized-shade cacao. Achieving an appropriate level of shading for cacao is important, since it affects yield and can influence pest and disease outbreaks. Shade in cacao also helps to maintain biodiversity, so getting shade right in cacao agroforestry is important. This chapter examines the benefits and problems associated with growing cacao with and without shade.

Keywords:   cacao agroforestry, shade, biodiversity, full-sun cacao, diversified-shade cacao, specialized-shade cacao

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