Rubber plantations: intercropping with coffee or cocoa more profitable
Researchers from CIRAD and their partners in Ivory Coast spent 17 years monitoring trial plantations in which rubber was intercropped with cash crops suited to shade, such as coffee, cocoa, lemon and cola nut. Results show that intercropping rubber with coffee and cocoa is a profitable combination, helping smallholders diversify their sources of income and make better use of their land. Rubber-lemon and rubber-cola nut systems were never profitable however. In coffee or cocoa intercropping systems, gross profit was already positive in the third year compared to the eight years needed for financial equilibrium in rubber monoculture.
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