Cocoa and coffee agroforestry on hillslopes: agroecology and farmer management options.

Project: PhD

Project Details


Simultaneously achieving policy goals on climate change, biodiversity, productivity and farmer income is highly desirable at the farm/forest interface. Development pathways to bridge ecological and socioeconomic objectives have become important challenges in the agricultural sector. Perspectives differ on the role the diversity of agroforests plays in sustaining ecological benefits and smallholder livelihoods. As the top five largest coffee and cocoa producer in the world, Indonesia contributes to the growing global demand for both, mostly through smallholder production in agroforestry systems using various shade trees, with limited use of inputs such as fertilizer. Tree diversity in agroforestry systems can maintain ecosystem functions that forests generally provide, through maintaining lower temperatures and higher humidity, providing various types of organic matter input, maintaining soil carbon stocks, nutrient cycles, and the hydrological cycle. This research aims to evaluate the aboveground characteristics in cocoa and coffee-based agroforestry in relation to land management and farmer preferences for companion trees. Study sites in Southeast Sulawesi and East Java provided low-to-medium and high human population density examples. Tree composition, diversity, and carbon stocks were measured. Surface litter residence times and decomposition rates were compared to those in secondary forest to evaluate soil protection and recycling. Litter quality, microclimate and ‘home-field advantage’ could be identified as interacting factors. A ‘natural experiment’ of volcanic ash deposition provided a resilience test for the farmers, the trees and the agroforestry systems. Games will provide a pathway to participatory scenario analysis of the management options available and their likely farm and landscape level consequences for sustainability.
Effective start/end date1/12/1930/10/23


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