“Aldo Sánchez surveys a field of lofty banana trees, with cacao plants bursting with fruit nestled beneath. “Two and a half years ago, this was pure pasture,” he says. Indeed, his neighbour’s field is just grass.
Four decades ago, a swath of land including his farm in Jabillos in central Costa Rica was deforested to plant coffee. It was later turned over to cattle, but ranching dried up when prices collapsed. Cacao — the raw material for chocolate — had not been planted since the late 1970s, when the monilia fungus wrecked 80 percent of the national crop.”
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