The biodiversity of flora and fauna on cacao farms includes many different types of species with various associated benefits. There are some organisms that engage in mutualistic relationships and others that are parasitic.
Biodiversity on a cacao farm is used to help improve the productivity of cacao pods. Some of the activities include fertilization, pollination, pest control, shelter, and some species also aid in the fermentation process.
One organism that helps the soil is the earthworm (Lumbricina). Earthworms help break down dead organic matter that collects around plants. In addition to fertilizing the soil, the holes where the earthworms are located also function to improve aeration and drainage in the soil so that it becomes loose. Earthworms also help transport organic materials deeper into the soil and their activities improve soil structure overall.
Bees, butterflies, beetles, and ants all aid in the pollination process. Pollination leads to the production of fruits that will have a high selling value.
Furthermore, the use of biodiversity for pest control usually includes fauna such as ants (Dolichoderus thoracicus). Some types of ants are useful for eradicating lice that can damage fruit and inhibit agricultural production.
Based on all the statements above, it is clear that biodiversity benefits ecosystems in many ways. Biodiversity also acts as a counterweight for environments. Therefore, we must not eradicate pests on a large scale because it will negatively impact the sustainability of life in various ecosystems. (Abdullah Syafiq Jauhari)
Translated by: Trey Spadone
Reviewer: M. Taufiq Affandi
This article is also available in Indonesian: Pemanfaatan Keanekaragaman Hayati Flora Dan Fauna Pada Tanaman Kakao (Theobroma Cacao)