Environmental sustainability is guaranteed by our form of production: cacao cultivation when established in agroforestry systems resembles microclimate conditions similar to a primary forest, and thus, supports the establishment of native flora and fauna species and the preservation of local biodiversity. Moreover organic farming prevents pollution of natural resources with the avoidance of synthetic chemicals. Cacao agroforestry systems are proven to regenerate degraded areas and to support conservation of soil’s physicochemical characteristics.
The activities from the Wiñak association conducive to the production of cacao are not strange or new to the Kichwa families activities therefore do not affect their socio-cultural dynamics. Cacao production in the Kichwa culture is based on a system of traditional called chakra, which guarantees the acceptance of the initiative as well as supporting appreciation for ancestral knowledge. The Chakra system is a sustainable production system; Kichwa families are able to get daily food for their families by working on the cacao crop while also benefitting from other species like timber, medicinal, fruit, and ornamental plants which are marketable products in local markets and thus generate an additional income for families.
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