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Implementing agroforestry systems in cocoa production as climate change adaptation methods - -Case study from Ivory Coast

Authors: Brunelle, R.; M'Bo, K.A.A.; OkouAbi, A.K.; Tchéma, R.; Levasseur, V.;

Implementing agroforestry systems in cocoa production as climate change adaptation methods - -Case study from Ivory Coast

Abstract

Cocoa production in Ivory Coast plays an important role in the country's economy and farmer's livelihood. Traditionally their cocoa plants are cultivated under direct sun. In the last decades, aging of the plantations, climate change, and attacks from pests and disease, have triggered a series of challenges for the Ivorian cocoa production. In 2019, the International Development Research Center (IDRC) funded AdaptCoop, an applied research project whose main objective is to sustainably increase the resilience of cocoa cooperatives and member families when dealing with the impacts of climate change. To alleviate the impact of climate change on Ivorian cocoa production, there is a need to identify the most promising agroecological adaptation practices, for both men and women producers. Therefore, a gender-based analysis was performed interviewing 69 women and 288 men to identify whether there are different tendencies between women and men cocoa farmers, especially with respect to these practices, and the elements that could explain such tendencies. In other words, why women specifically adopt, or not, certain practices and if this is different for men. The results of the gender-based analysis underline very low literacy rates, which are even more pronounced among women, and can limit access to and understanding of information and training. Also, less than half of the women feel they can act on the negative effect of climate change compared to almost three-quarters of men. Such results were then integrated in a multicriteria analysis to identify the most promising agroecological adaptation practices to be supported for implementation by targeted women and men cocoa farmers. The practices that are currently tested include diversifying the plantation by adding shade trees, perennial legumes, bananas, and other edible plants; implement vegetative barrier; use mulching, herb swaths; composting using cocoa residue; scout for disease and pest; use mechanical methods such as pruning or manual removal of insects; use of natural or biological repellent; and store cocoa beans in a weather protected area. Finally, on top of identifying the constraints faced by cocoa producers in Ivory Coast and its gender-differentiation, this applied research gave us the opportunity to identify and support the implementation of adaptation practices at the cooperatives' level and provide an appreciation of their impact. Keywords: Agroforestry; Climate Change Adaptation Practices; Gender-based analysis

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