Côte d'Ivoire was once covered with forest, but has lost more than 70% of its forest cover since 1960, largely due to the cocoa industry. An amazing opportunity exists to bring trees back to cocoa farms to create agroforestry, a sustainable farming practice that will support both the environment and local cocoa farmers. Restoring these cocoa regions to better ecological health will have a direct impact on soil quality to prevent erosion, will provide habitat for biodiversity, improve air quality and climate, and benefit women smallholder farmers to support gender equality.
By the end of three years, ecological benefits will include carbon sequestration, soil fertility enhancement, nutrient cycling, creation of soils, refuge for biodiversity, water and air quality improvement, flood and erosion control (tree roots hold soil in place), fruits, poles, timber and fuel from pruning, pollination, natural pest control, climate regulation, moderation of natural phenomena like extreme heat or rain.
Community benefits include forest and tree products and services, more stable and productive farms, improved nutrition, emergent new income streams. The project will be looking at two additional income-generating activities (on top of cocoa trade) for cocoa farmers. We anticipate that this project will create at least 300 jobs for women and young people during the project!
The project will largely follow the CCC’s recommended list of trees for cocoa agroforestry and its three strata model. The tree species range from slower to faster-growing and fall into three strata. The first stratum will consist of cocoa, exotic fruit species - soursop, avocado, and mango - and indigenous and exotic N-fixing trees. The middle stratum will consist of indigenous fruit trees such as akpi, bitté, and kplé. The topmost stratum will consist of fraké, framiré, makaoré, niangon, and iroko.
OneTreePlanted is a non-profit organisation based in Vermont with a mission to make it simple for you to plant trees around the world. Started in 2014, they have more than doubled the number of trees planted year over year. Fast-forward to today, they now work with awesome reforestations partners in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa who help them get trees in the ground to restore forests after fires and floods, create jobs, build communities, and protect habitat for biodiversity.