Agroecology and Cabruca Cacao in the Forests of Bahia

Luciano Ferreira Da Silvia is a cacao producer of Cabruca Cacao, already part of the Ark of Taste and soon to be a Slow Food Presidium.

My name is Luciano, and I grow cacao in the Dois Riachões community, located in Ibirapitanga, southern Bahia, Brazil. This is a land of forests and springs (there are around 3500 springs), with Cabruca Cacao plants cultivated using agroecological methods across an area of 150 hectares. In this type of agroforestry system, the cacao plants grow in harmony with all of the other local biodiversity, coexisting with more than 250 natives species, including animals at risk of extinction such as the golden-headed lion tamarin. This agroecological system contributes to reducing the effects of climate change in the region.

Photo: Reveca Tapie

In the last two years, climate change has been felt through a prolonged drought that has had a pronounced effect in the Atlantic Forest, with changes to rainfall patterns in the region and, consequently, the loss of cacao plants. These long periods of drought, particularly in 2015-2016, substantially reduced the production of cacao. Protecting the production of the Cabruca Cacao system means protecting the Atlantic Forest and all its local biodiversity. The production method doesn’t just prioritize the protection of the environment and the production of organic cacao, but also guarantees fairer relations between producers and the market, greater bargaining power for producers and less susceptibility to the volatility of the international market. In this context, Slow Food plays a fundamental role in the promotion and protection of the biome, creating links between producers and consumers and promoting good, clean and fair food production.

Luciano (on the left) with other members of the Slow Food network

Slow Food is promoting the Menu For Change campaign to tell the world how climate change is affecting small-scale farmers and food producers and what we are doing to support them. Get involved! 

Video © Camille Carradore

 

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