CIRAD has studied the state of the cocoa sector, which is facing a multitude of challenges: climate change, deforestation, poverty, diseases…
It is urgent to reform this sector to make it more sustainable in the face of a growing increase in demand.
The producers, subject to the vagaries, extend the cultivated areas to satisfy the demand, disregarding the natural spaces. Ghana has undergone a deforestation of a quarter of its forest in twenty years to allow sufficient cocoa production.
This crop has a low productivity, which does not allow the farmer to live comfortably economically. The monoculture also facilitates the spread of diseases and weakens the farmer’s income.
Studies show that cocoa trees need a biodiversity environment to provide shade and moisture, while the farmer draws on this diversity for other food resources such as fruits (citrus, mangoes, bananas, etc.).
CIRAD and Irad hypothesize that cocoa trees combined with agroforestry offer the best chances of achieving sustainable and profitable production for farmers, while limiting the risks due to climate or disease (Perspective magazine).
Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana account for 63% of world production and the quest for a new sustainable cocoa crop is a question of economic survival for these countries.
Launched in 2020, the Cocoa4Future project brings together cocoa industry stakeholders to discuss the necessary transformation of cocoa production by identifying the best cultivation models and proposing an organization of the sector that sufficiently remunerates the producer.
For this mission, financed by 7 million euros, the partners (cooperatives, private companies, NGOs, research and training institutions, ministries, producers, European Union) will monitor, over the next four years, 150 cocoa farms cultivated under different conditions in order to establish the best context in terms of:
- Productivity ;
At the same time, 350 independent farms in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana will be observed to identify local techniques and complete the knowledge.
Source : CIRAD