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Cacao agroforestry systems have higher return on labor compared to full-sun monocultures

Armengot, Laura; Barbieri, Pietro; Andres, Christian; Milz, Joachim and Schneider, Monika (2016) Cacao agroforestry systems have higher return on labor compared to full-sun monocultures. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 36 (70), pp. 1-10.

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Document available online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13593-016-0406-6


The global demand for cacao has recently increased. To meet this demand, the cultivated area has been expanded in tropical forest areas and production has intensified by replacing traditional agroforestry systems with monocultures. This has led to a loss of biodiversity in cacao-growing areas. More sustainable production systems such as agroforestry and organic managed systems are expected to yield less cacao, but by-crops and premium prices, respectively, might economically compensate for the lower yields. Here, we compared the productivity and the return on labor, that is the return per working day, of four different cacao production systems: agroforestry and monocultures under organic and conventional management. Cacao and by-crop yields, costs, revenues, and labor were registered during the first 5 years after establishment. Results show that cacao yields were, on average, 41% higher in monocultures, but the revenues derived from agroforestry by-crops economically overcompensated for this difference. Indeed, the return on labor across the years was roughly twice as high in the agroforestry systems compared to the monocultures. We found similar cacao yields and return on labor in conventional and organically managed agroforestry systems. However, in the monocultures, cacao yields were 48% lower under organic compared with conventional farming, but the return on labor was similar, mainly due to the higher costs associated to the conventional management. Overall, our findings show that cacao agroforestry systems have higher return on labor.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Bolivia, Economic analysis, Labor demand, Long-term Experiments, Organic farming, Theobroma cacao L., Department of International Cooperation, Agriculture in the Tropics, Agroforestry Systems
Subjects: Crop husbandry
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Bolivia
Research affiliation:Bolivia
Switzerland > ETHZ - Agrarwissenschaften
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Agroforestry Systems
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Climate
France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
DOI:DOI: 10.1007/s13593-016-0406-6
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/development.html
Deposited By: Andres, Christian
ID Code:30968
Deposited On:02 Jan 2017 10:40
Last Modified:04 Nov 2020 12:59
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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