Regenerative Cacao Blueprint: Tracking
Whether it be local or international, Kiskeya International will always pursue regenerative solutions to our toughest problems. The goal of the Regenerative Cacao Blueprint Project (RCB) is to demonstrate the financial and commercial viability of regenerative cacao agroforestry as well as its ecological benefits.
What are we doing?
The RCB is set to test three cacao agroforestry systems, two regenerative and one conventional for financial viability and economic benefit. Each system is roughly 0.4 hectares, or 0.98 acres. Syntropic Solutions designed one regenerative system, Altair and Mauro Weber Rosito designed the other regenerative system and the conventional cacao system was built in accordance with local practices. Preliminary control data was recorded throughout implementation on economic and environmental factors.
The environmental data (soil moisture and temperature tests, Haney soil carbon tests, soil food web analysis) will serve as the baseline moving forward. The financial data is being recorded into Propagate Ventures proprietary technology that will allow us to forecast the cost of implementation as well as the prospective yield and net income for the systems in place. The RCB document is currently being crafted by KI with support from Altair of FTN. The document will include a financial analysis of implementation, projected financials courtesy of propagate ventures, environmental data on all three systems, system designs, and implementation instructions.
How are we measuring?
In order to assess the financial and economic viability of the project, we are measuring a comprehensive set of data ranging from labor times and costs to soil tests aimed at measuring relevant changes to composition and microbiome health. Each task necessary for implementation is being measured on the time and manpower necessary for completion as well the fuel cost, tools necessary for completion and other factors that will allow us to create an accurate analysis of the total financial cost of implementation. Using Propagate’s system we will be able to project not only the cost of implementation, but the anticipated yield and net income of the systems implemented so that they may be included in the initial iteration of the RCB document. Soil moisture and temperature tests were taken throughout the demonstration area in order to achieve a baseline measurement that we will use to compare against in the future. Soil moisture and temperature tests will be done twice a year, once during the rainy season and again during the dry season over the duration of the project. Additional data will be gathered through annual Haney soil carbon tests and bi annual soil food web analysis.
What are we going to do?
Moving forward, our focus will shift towards document creation, system management, and data gathering at Finca Tierra Negra. KI and our team of volunteers will work to source related research to support our ongoing findings as well as writing the document. The FTN team will continue to gather labor data throughout the management phase of the project, working alongside KI and PV to incorporate the data into accessible formats that will be later implemented into the RCB. KI will also be working to create an online hub for our research in preparation for our advocacy phase towards the end of the project.
Outputs, Outcomes and Deliverables
Main project deliverables to date are the implementation designs and procedures, control measurements, photos and videos of the implementation process.
Regenerative Cacao Blueprint (RCB)
Initial Implementation at Finca Tierra Negra (FTN)
The FTN team, with assistance from Kiskeya International, implemented the following:
One 0.4 hectare (0.98 acre/4,000 sq m) regenerative cacao system designed by Syntropic Solutions (SS), with assistance from FTN.
One 0.4 hectare (0.98 acre/4,000 sq m) organic conventional cacao system designed by FTN to reflect the conventional-organic methods of cacao production used in Latin America
One 0.4 hectare (0.98 acre/4,000 sq m) regenerative cacao system designed by FTN
Economic Data Tracking
FTN and KI worked together with Propagate Ventures to track the relevant economic and labor data needed to properly access the cost of implementation for all systems installed.
Equipment and shipping costs were tracked and recorded
Labor costs were tracked on a per day basis for farm labor and individually per task for contracted labor
Each land preparation and implementation activity was diligently measured across various factors in order to be input into Propagate proprietary database allowing us to forecast the cost of implementation for similar systems
Environmental Data Tracking
Kiskeya International, with assistance from FTN, tracked various environmental metrics during the implementation phase, and collected soil samples to be tested for soil food web health and soil carbon. These measurements will be used as the control measurements moving forward.
Soil Moisture and Temperature Test
Haney Soil Carbon Tests
Soil Food Web Analysis
Kiskeya International documented the implementation process in the form of photos and videos. The material gathered will be processed and used in the RCB Document to educate readers on our equipment, processes, and practices.
Interim Results and Future Plans
With the design and equipment acquisition phases complete and the implementation phase coming to a close, the RCB is currently set to track the environmental and economic metrics for three agroforestry systems. These systems, while similar, vary in characteristics such as biodiversity, plant density, number of species, and land preparation method. Through the diligent efforts of our FTN team, each activity involved in the implementation process is being tracked and we at Kiskeya International are organizing the collected data, footage and soil samples into a template for the RCB. Our team of researchers are collecting relevant research and data from peer reviewed articles to compare with our own findings, while building the base structure of the RCB. Moving forward our efforts will be refocused around metric tracking, management, document creation, and advocacy planning.