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Farmers Perception of Trees on Cocoa Farms in Cote d' Ivoire - Preliminary Results


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This is a presentation showing the preliminary results of a survey conducted in the south west of Cote d’Ivoire by Emilie Smith Dumont et al. 2012, it included 355 cocoa farms and aimed at exploring perceptions of trees associated with cocoa with the aim of developing sustainable cocoa agroforestry options.

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Farmers Perception of Trees on Cocoa Farms in Cote d' Ivoire - Preliminary Results

  2. 2. Background 1/2 • Cocoa cultivation was initially introduced and developed in agroforesty systems BUT over the last 40 years, promotion of hybrid cocoa variety under minimal shade or without shade in order to optimise yields and also prevent cocoa from being stressed by the forest trees (Asare, 2005) • Cocoa plantations were largely established in concert with the timber industry by clearing forestland. • Advice was provided on how to remove trees with a focus on a list of (45) native trees antagonistic to cocoa association in cocoa cultivation manuals (SATMACI, 1984; FIRCA, 2008) whilst there was little advise given about compatible species (Asare, 2005).
  3. 3. Background 2/2 • Scientific research on cocoa agroforestry in Cote d’Ivoire remains scarce. Some of the studies initiated in the last decades have been hindered by the crisis over the last decades • Few results are available except for studies focusing on exotic trees and more specifically on leguminous species and the role of improved fallows for cocoa replanting strategies (Gnahoua et al, 1998, 2008; Balle et al. 1994) • There is still a considerable lack of scientific evidence behind our understanding of many native species and their interactions with cocoa (Asare, 2005).
  4. 4. Rationale of the study Within the V4C project, there is an urgent need to develop and scale up sustainable agroforestry technologies that: 1. enhance good agricultural practices through synergies (climate amelioration/fertility improvement/pests and disease regulation (including CSSV) 2. support diversification and food security within cocoa production systems 3. meet environmental sustainability goals and assist farmers in meeting eco-certification criteria This, however, can only be achieved through a rigorous and participatory process of tree selection to help match species to different farmers’ needs and farm conditions.
  5. 5. Objectives of the survey MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE SURVEY • Identify, amongst farmers, preferences about companion trees in cocoa plots • Analyse tree species desired by farmers to present a preliminary list of candidate species for agroforestry trials and interventions in the V4C project
  6. 6. METHODOLOGY: Sampling strategy Structured questionnaire: mix of open-ended questions with systematic questions about trees found on cocoa plots Large sample: 355 farmers interviewed in total. The sample was stratified in terms of origin, enrolment in an ecocertification scheme (UTZ & Rainforest Alliance) and the proximity of protected forest areas (buffer zones and rural zones)
  7. 7. PRELIMINARY RESULTS Tree Diversity on cocoa farms 139 species present on cocoa farms • 63 species scientifically verified • 76 species recorded with local names
  8. 8. PRELIMINARY RESULTS Key products from trees in cocoa fields Xylopia aethiopica 2996 RECORDS OF TREES DISCUSSED WITH COCOA FARMERS NUTRITION: 45% INCOME 25% MEDICINAL 15% FIREWOOD 12% TIMBER 5% AKPI Ricinodendron
  9. 9. Farmers’ general perception of companion trees in cocoa fields • The large majority of cocoa farmers have a general favourable opinion of companion trees in cocoa fields • 95% cocoa farmers expressed a favourable opinion • 1% of cocoa farmers stated that all trees needed to be removed to establish a cocoa plantation.
  10. 10. Benefits of companions trees: KEY ECOLOGICAL SERVICES • Most important environmental services associated with companion trees in cocoa fields ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF COMPANION TREES IN COCOA FIELDS TOTAL C NC Protection of cocoa from heat stress 70% 40% 30% Improving fertility 53% 30% 23% "Bringing the rain" 28% 16% 12% Increase soil moisture availability 24% 13% 11% Erosion control 20% 13% 7% L'arbre est-il bon pour la fertilité du sol ? 250 200 150 100 50 0 BEAUCOUP MOYEN UN PEU NE SAIT PAS NON
  11. 11. Constraints of associated trees • Farmers were asked to state the three most important problems of associating shade trees in cocoa plots. CONSTRAINTS ASSOCIATED WITH COMPANION TREES IN COCOA FIELDS TOTAL C NC Physical damage 33% 18% 15% Attracts squirrels and rats 24% 14% 10% Nutrient competition 7% 4% 3% Increase pod rot 7% 5% 2%
  12. 12. Constraints: Species variation according to farmers 250 L'arbre cause t-il des dégats physiques aux cacaoyers ? 1- Fruitiers 200 250 BEAUCOUP MOYEN UN PEU NE SAIT PAS NON 150 100 L'arbre cause t-il des dégats physiques aux cacaoyers ? 2 - Autres arbres 200 BEAUCOUP MOYEN UN PEU NE SAIT PAS NON 150 100 50 50 0 0 250 200 L'arbre attire t-il les rongeurs ? 1 - Fruitiers 250 BEAUCOUP 200 MOYEN 150 UN PEU NE SAIT PAS 100 NON L'arbre attire t-il les rongeurs ? 2 - Autres Arbres BEAUCOUP MOYEN 150 UN PEU NE SAIT PAS 100 50 50 0 0 NON
  13. 13. Farmers’ preferences for associated tree species • The large majority of farmers expressed their interest for having more trees in cocoa fields. • 95% of farmers wanted to at least one additional tree species in their cocoa fields.
  14. 14. Farmers’ perceptions of tree compatibility with cocoa General compatibility of cocoa companion tree species as perceived by farmers in the South-West region of Cote d’Ivoire ((: compatible; : incompatible)
  15. 15. Preferences for trees for other niches on farm • Desire to plant trees in other farm niches Rubber: 52% Palm oil: 5% Teak: 5% Other fruit trees species: Anacardium, Akpi
  16. 16. Geographical differences in farmers’ preferences for trees Avocado & Akpi: preferences accross all 4 sites Geographical differences in species preferences: Species awareness: E.g. Gliricidia in Kragui (STCP) Gligbeadji: buffer zone of Gazetted forest only 4 farmers desired Frake/Framire due to land issues and fear of being evacuated
  17. 17. Advices on tree association with cocoa trees • There was a strong influence of extension services (ANADER,UTZ, Paysans relais, SODEFOR, Rainforest Alliance) in providing advice on shade trees especially driven by the enrolment into certification. 75% of certified farmers had received advice about the benefits of companion trees 27% of non certified farmers had received advice Advice provided by extension services clearly focused on a few species (Frake, Framire, Gliricidia) and this reflects in farmers preferences for shade tree association
  18. 18. Conclusions • Despite the massive deforestation trends and low numbers of tree species retained on farms there is a large floristic diversity in cocoa fields: 139 species • 95% of cocoa farmers expressed a favourable opinion of cocoa tree associations. Reasons are key products and services including water and heat stress reduction and soil fertility. • The most important problems associated with shade trees in cocoa plots relate to physical damage, attraction of squirrels and rats, competition for nutrients and increasing pod rot incidence and excessive shading. These differ according to different trees and their attributes
  19. 19. Conclusions • The large majority farmers expressed their interest for planting trees in cocoa fields with 95% farmers wanted to plant at least one additional tree species in their cocoa fields. Overall, farmers expressed the desire to have 50 different species • The 7 most desired species (Frake, Akpi (Ricinodendron heudelotii), Avocado, Orange tree, Framire, Iroko, Mango) were selected as initial candidate species.
  20. 20. Conclusions • Further in depth research of local knowledge underpinning farmer’s tree management decisions is needed to better understand how a suite of trees and arrangements can be matched to different needs and farm conditions. • Further analysis of scientific and technical information about tree species is also required to consolidate knowledge about tree cocoa association to ensure sustainable agroforestry interventions. • Baseline information is available on tree and cocoa interaction for a wide range of trees. This will support further research to explore the potential of a larger diversity of trees to match different farmers’ needs and ecological niches.