In different localities of the Amazon, the harvesting of wild cacao plantations, as well as agroforestry crops based on the cultivation of Amazonian cacao as a non-timber perennial harvest, is an economic and ecological alternative for indigenous people and the peasant population, who live and were established in regimes of collective ownership of the land, as well as in the individual endowments to which they agreed in the last fifty years.
However, managing the forest and establishing, maintaining and taking advantage of agroforestry systems has not been easy. Currently the rhythms and daily needs of the population are greater than in the past, without ignoring the progress of the Amazonian communities. With the support of many institutions, and especially of the participants in this project, it is necessary to advance in the criteria of efficiency in the productive system, good practices in the post harvest, consolidation of opportunities in the market and finally profitability and sustainability of the system as a whole.
Given the forestry vocation of the Amazon, agroforestry systems (SAF)* are presented as the best alternative to create sources of employment, generate income and strengthen the family patrimony in the communities. In addition to the recognized ecological, cultural and universal value benefits provided by these systems administered familiarly and adapted to their biological and physical environment.
In the departments of Beni and Pando, agroforestry systems have been promoted for approximately 20 years, with a greater momentum in recent years, as the process of land consolidation has reinforced the possession of indigenous people and has extended ownership to new communities. These changes in property have led to a significant population growth, as well as to the occupation of new spaces.
In the project area there are different systems of land tenure. From experience, until now, it is in the systems of indigenous communities and territories where there is greater interest in forest conservation systems.
In this context, given the fragility of the soils and the ecological system of the two departments indicated, the forms of use and management of natural resources, wood, non-timber forest and agricultural crops, are essential to maintain life and ensure a long livelihood to families.
*The planned activity on these resources, in specific combinations according to the conditions of each land and available labor, is called SAF.