With this type of agroforestry, the natural environment is taken into account in various ways. No pesticides or artificial fertilisers are used and there is no monoculture: the young cocoa trees are planted between larger, existing trees, which also provide the necessary shade. However, weeds, shrubs and smaller trees are removed from around the cocoa trees. Finally, 30% of the entire area is not used for cocoa cultivation: in this part of the reserve the forest can develop naturally and without being disturbed.
In collaboration with the University for Agriculture in Njala, our specialists investigated the effects of these Cocoa Gardens on soil, water, wildlife, biodiversity and on numerous social aspects, such as support from government, administrators and local people, employment and health. The fieldwork involved ecological surveys in and around the planned plantations and surrounding areas, as well as consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, experts and the literature.