This project was created in 2008, with following objectives:
Protect ecosystems by developing agroforestry to ensure long-term sustainability of cocoa plantations.
Fight deforestation and its consequences, such as soil erosion, decrease of water availability, natural disasters, landscapes degradation, and biodiversity loss.
Enhance farmers’ livelihoods by providing alternative sources of income.
The San Martin region was heavily deforested during the 1980s when it became a red zone for coca production. With the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), producers began a conversion to cocoa cultivation in the 1990s. The Acopagro cooperative was created in this context, with the aim of making the most of the new cocoa chain by following the specifications of Fair Trade and Organic Agriculture. Located upstream of the Huayabamba River, in the San Martin region of Peru, the ACOPAGRO cooperative brings together more than 2000 small cocoa and sugar cane producers.
The producers live along the Huayabamba River, isolated between the water and the virgin forest. The creation of the cooperative and the integration of small producers into the fair trade networks has enabled them to pool their efforts to add value to their production, acquire organic certification, but also to diversify their sources of income while preserving their environment.
Launched in 2008, the Alto Huayabamba reforestation project reinforces this approach by supporting the implementation of model agroforestry systems, thus ensuring the sustainability of cocoa farming. This reforestation project proposes to plant native trees (Mahogany, Caoba), within the cocoa plots of small producers.
With the technical support of the cooperative, they have now mastered the principles of agroforestry and agroecology, which allow them to harmoniously combine forest preservation with the development of agricultural crops. Thanks to this project, the producers are creating a new source of income for themselves and at the same time promoting biodiversity and soil regeneration in their region.
A total of 2.2 million trees have been planted in consortium with cocoa fields or on degraded areas. After the last planting wave (April-November 2014), the Alto Huayabamba project has entered its mature phase: sustainable wood management and exploitation.
Wood is a very noble and docile material that can be worked. I think it is a pity that wood is only used as firewood or that it is simply thrown away on the farm and deteriorates after being planted with care and love. Wood will allow us to improve our standard of living. – Don Jorge Laimito Quispe (farmer)
LocationSan Martin region, Amazonia, Peru
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerACOPAGRO cooperative
Participants2,671 Fair trade & Organic cocoa farmers
Achievements1,807,536 Trees planted
- The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is a quality standard for voluntary carbon offset industry. Based on the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, VCS establishes criteria for validating, measuring, and monitoring carbon offset projects.
ACOPAGRO cooperative was created in 1997, as part of a UN program to substitute coca plantations with cocoa and other alternative crops in the San Martin region, Amazon, Peru. It now counts 2000 members: small-scale producers of cocoa and sugar cane having 5 hectares of land each, with an average 2.2 ha of cocoa fields.
The participants are ACOPAGRO members, small-scale cocoa farmers and their families.
The good taste of cocoa farming under the trees in Peru.
A photo story by Christian Lamontagne.