Planting Cacao with Coffee
Climate change is rising the global temperature and is leaving a once thriving environment for coffee, susceptible to bacterial diseases like la roya. Coffee producers are moving to higher altitudes in search for cooler temperature, leaving vacant lots with the perfect conditions to plant cacao. Cacao grows optimally at lower altitudes. Planting cacao is an easy transition for coffee farmers, most of the agricultural infrastructure like shade baring trees is already in place. Diversification on a farm is essential for sustainability. Cacao gives farmers a good yielding crop that requires less attention than coffee, creating a profitable balance throughout the year.
At La Cumplida, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, they graft high yielding cacao plants with with disease resistant varietals to improve vigor and quality. With their technology, the architecture of the plant is better than the traditional grafting system because they only use stems from their nursery that have three buds, allowing precocity and early productivity. A successful graft begins to develop cacao pods after 18 months in the field.