Many types of fruits grow in rainforests, including bananas, cashew, citrus fruits, coconut, mango, corn, pineapple, avocado, grapefruit and cacao. Most of these fruits originated in a particular rainforest, but they are often cultivated in rainforests in other parts of the world. For example, the banana, which originally came from the rainforests of Asia, is now grown in rainforests around the world.
As the home of more than 2,000 edible plants, the Amazon rainforest is the source of a large portion of the developed nations' agricultural supply. Chocolate originated from the cacao plant, which grows wild in the Amazon region. The Brazilian coconut is not only used for food production but also for cosmetic purposes. The passion fruit, a refreshing, tropical fruit grown in Brazil, northern Argentina and Paraguay, is often eaten as is, juiced or used as an ingredient in cosmetic products to enhance their aroma.
A large part of the Amazon rainforest is being burned and cleared for agricultural purposes and for fuel collection. Some forestlands, which fail to sustain crops due to acidic and nutrient-deficient soils, are reverted to cattle pastures. If the soil is suitable for agriculture, a single-crop plantation is started, which is generally comprised of cash crops, such as rice, bananas, coffee, cacao, soybeans, nuts and rubbers. This practice of monoculture often leads to loss of forest and makes the land vulnerable to pests and infestation.