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Timber from Organic Cacao Agroforestry Systems, an Additional Source of Income for Farmers in Bolivia

Baumann, Matthias; Brönnimann, Lukas; Schneidewind, Ulf; Armengot, Laura; Milz, Joachim; Rüegg, Johanna and Schneider, Monika (2021) Timber from Organic Cacao Agroforestry Systems, an Additional Source of Income for Farmers in Bolivia. In: Tielkes, Eric (Ed.) Tropentag 2021 - Towards shifting paradigms in agriculture for a healthy and sustainable future - Book of Abstracts.

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Summary

Unlike cacao monocultures, cacao agroforestry systems offer a wide range of additional ecosystem services and values to the farmers, such as (i.a. regulating pests and diseases, balancing the understory climate and carbon sequestration) and enable a higher independence from the main crop by generating a potential additional income.
To assess the standing timber volume and value, a tree inventory was conducted in 2017 in 16 smallholder cacao agroforestry plots in Alto Beni, Bolivia. Farmers and experts were interviewed to identified the challenges for the timber production in these agroforestry systems.
The timber trees on the plots had mainly an age of about 10 20 years (mean 15.5 years) but some trees were also in the range between 2–40 years. A total number of 2’941 trees were counted on all the plots and 20 % of it were Swietenia macrophylla, which makes it the most popular timber species. Other very common species were Myroxylon balsamum (12 %), Amburana cearensis (11 %) and Centrolobium ochroxylum (10 %). The average timber tree density was 230 trees/ha and the standing timber volume was 46 m3/ha. The standing timber per plot had an estimated average value of 12’947 USD/ha at the time. Because of lack of professional timber processing, such as timber transportation and sawmill, the loss in timber volume is estimated around 40 %. Additionally, farmers are challenged with trimming and pruning of trees as well as with the legal requirements.
With the aim to increase farmer’s income from timber trees we suggest the following measures at three levels: (1) improving plantation layout (density, layout, species) and tree management (criteria for selection for cut off trees, trimming and pruning); (2) to support a more professional timber logging and processing to decrease losses and (3) to create service providers such as farmer owned cooperatives for logging, sawing, registration of trees and logging permits.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:agroforestry, cocoa, Theobroma cacao, pruning, Abacus, FiBL6516603, SysCom Bolivia, timber
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
agroforestry
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_207
English
cocoa (plant) -> Theobroma cacao
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_7713
English
pruning
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_6274
English
timber trees
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_7776
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Bolivia
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Cocoa
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Agroforestry Systems
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Regions > Latin America & Caribbean
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:43499
Deposited On:27 Jan 2022 12:38
Last Modified:27 Jan 2022 12:38
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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