Rehabilitation Approach for Quick and Sustainable Regain in Cocoa Production in Declining Full Sun Plantations
Nora Kägi1, Joachim Milz2, Franco Weibel3, Niels Van Houdt4, Cinzia Anselmi5, Juan Guillermo Cobo6, Monika Schneider1
1Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), International Cooperation, Switzerland
In Malaysia an intensively managed high input full sun cocoa plantation can reach high yields of 1.5 to 2 t dry beans per ha. Following a high production period of 10 years the yields often decrease markedly. Focusing on leading depleted cacao plantations sustainably back to full production a research project was initiated in June 2011 using a diversification approach with agroforestry systems. The experimental site is located on a large commercial farm in the humid tropical lowlands of peninsular Malaysia, in the region of Kuala Lipis. In a field trial with a strip-split-plot design, three different production systems, mainly characterised by diversification levels (mono culture to high diversity agroforestry) and accordingly different external input levels (high to low), are compared under two tree age conditions: newly planted and old rehabilitated cocoa trees, after the removal of the original canopy back to the leader structure. The existing twenty-two-year-old plantation with the original canopy and a high input level serves as control treatment.
Keywords: Agroforestry, cocoa, rehabilitation, south-east asia, sustainable yield increase
Contact Address: Nora Kägi, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), International Cooperation, Ackerstrasse, 5070 Frick, Switzerland, e-mail: nora.kaegifibl.org