Côte d’Ivoire


Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by Nick Baskett

Côte d’Ivoire faces many challenges related to intensive agriculture, including deforestation.

With the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the country is implementing the project “Promoting Deforestation-Free Cocoa Production to Reduce Emissions in Côte d’Ivoire”, which has recently received $11.8 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

This pilot project is designed to help a local cooperative of organic cocoa producers in the La Mé basin improve their access to fair trade markets while slowing the loss of forest cover.

In the long term, the project intends to offer low-carbon agroforestry practices on 3,650 hectares to encourage 600,000 smallholders in the Agnéby-Tiassa, La Mé and Sud-Comoé regions to make changes that will help them.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Côte d’Ivoire has one of the fastest rates of forest loss in the world and, apart from the national parks, there is almost no intact forest left in the country.

About two-thirds of deforestation is due to agriculture, with cocoa production accounting for one-third.

The situation is exacerbated by the clearing of land for cocoa cultivation in full sun, a strategy favoured by poorly organised smallholders who often lack secure land rights

 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Côte d’Ivoire’s forest cover was estimated at 16 million hectares at the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, only about 2.5 million hectares of forest remain, a drastic drop in the forest cover of Côte d’Ivoire that led to this project.

The financing provided by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will also promote the diversification of agricultural land use beyond cash crops (cocoa) to include food crops such as plantain and cassava, the replant of coffee plantations, and tree planting for other benefits.

As part of this ecological agriculture project, the FAO intends to seek support from investors who wish to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability projects.

The cocoa industry as a whole may face a sharp decline in production from one of the world’s largest producers if nothing is done to mitigate climate change.

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