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Cocoa agroforestry in Côte d’Ivoire: New insights from economic modelling

Cocoa agroforestry in Côte d’Ivoire: New insights from economic modelling

Smallholder farmers across Côte d’Ivoire rely heavily on cocoa production, but rarely manage to generate a living income from cocoa alone. Balancing the well-being of farmers and conservation and restoration of forests along with cocoa production is a pressing challenge. Agroforestry’s potential to increase cocoa farmers’ incomes is often broached in the context of transforming the sector – yet there is little understanding of the economic impact of agroforestry approaches for cocoa farming.


Sustainable cocoa production requires viable economic models for farmers by Adeline Dontenville, EU REDD Facility


Ahead of the World Cocoa Foundation’s 2020 Partnership Meeting - a conference dedicated to cocoa sustainability - Cargill, PUR Projet, the European Forest Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme have teamed up to analyse their respective cocoa-agroforestry income projections, assessing the impact of agroforestry on household incomes across Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa production landscape.  

By modelling cocoa farm economics, the viability of various agroforestry scenarios can be accessed. The results help to understand, monitor and improve the economic impact of agroforestry on cocoa farmers.  

In a new joint paper, these organisations present economic models illustrating a variety of agroforestry approaches. Their joined-up analysis suggest that agroforestry holds the potential to shift farmer household income distributions, by from 9% up to 50%, such that more cocoa farmers meet poverty and Living Income benchmarks. The analysis also highlights a number of other factors that will play a decisive role in smallholder farmers’ decisions to engage into agroforestry practices in their cocoa fields.

These economic models serve as a reference point for estimating the economic benefits agroforestry could present to cocoa farmer households across cocoa supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire.