Madagui Agroforestry Project
What you’re seeing here is a transition project. We’re finding out what it’s like to plant cacao in Vietnam, on a site earmarked for rubber tree plantations, we have silenced the chainsaws and planted cacao trees in the middle of the remaining second growth forest. The cacao parcels are also surrounded by primary forest that is quite pristine with a lot of biodiversity: a recent survey showed that the trees there are home to endangered primate species like loris and gibbons.
The deal we have is that we share the costs of the investment and when the trees do start yielding cacao, we’ll buy it.
“But we’ve taken a kind of Hypocratic Oath to do no harm.”
We got excited about this project because we’re interested in the environmental aspect. When you go into this mountain you see birds, animals. From a preservation perspective, the ideal is not to plant anything. But we’ve taken a kind of Hypocratic Oath to do no harm and the alternative seems a lot worse.
We’re trying to show, by this experiment, that you can plant cacao in an agro-forestry setting in a way that’s economically viable. And that could provide a preservation alternative to, say, building golf courses or planting rubber trees in tight rows