The government of Côte d’Ivoire is asking the private sector to invest in a $1.5 billion plan to restore degraded forests and increase food production.
Despite a commitment to fight deforestation and a commitment to increase forest cover to make up 20% of Ivorian territory by 2030, data shows that the West African country continues to lose large chunks of forest area every year. Even the hopes from the Cocoa & Forest Initiative, which took a multi-stakeholder approach to the tackle the problem, have left the industry disillusioned.
As part of a broader strategy to mitigate the impact of climate change on natural and agricultural resources in the Ivory Coast, the Abidjan Initiative will be implemented over five years.
It’s crucial that we restore our land. If we fail to do so, 2% to 6% more households will fall into extreme poverty by 2030.Prime Minister Patrick Achi
Agriculture accounts for a fifth of the Ivorian gross domestic product in 2020, according to World Bank data, employing millions of farmers, yet the IMF forecasts indicate a contradiction to the statement of Prime Minister Patrick Achi, with GDP forecast to continue to grow, unless there is a revision of the data planned.
But I have other concerns, not least of which is that I don’t trust the government to put the money to good use. They have not achieved any of their objectives to date, and this would be by far the most ambitious project of all.
Some of the comments also give reason to consider this request for cash has not been thought through, and I’ll document those in a future article after we’ve perhaps heard more detail around the plan.