It takes up to 5-7 years for the Cocoa to become fully productive therefore farmers need other income sources from their land to support their families, so intercropping with short cycle crops such as banana, plantain, ginger, maize, local root crops (such as dasheen and edo) is promoted.
Moreover cocoa needs shade cover, so timber species such as Coconut, Melina and Mahogany are also grown. These complementary crops provide farmers with a secure, long-term income, and diversify their business away from just growing one crop.
With the gradual reduction of natural forest throughout the world, this model is an essential part of keeping our forests diversified. Implementing an agroforestry model acts as a reservoir for the conservation of forest tree species.