© Antoine Boureau / Biosphoto

COCOA UNDER SHADE, A PILLAR OF DEVELOPMENT IN WOLEU-NTEM (GABON)

Type of mission

© Michel Gunther / Biosphoto
In order to combat deforestation and poverty, the project aims to improve the productivity of village cocoa farms, but above all to encourage the practice of agroforestry for quality, sustainable and deforestation-free production.

As cocoa under shade is known for its superior quality, it will allow producers to access a reliable and profitable market.

The project will also explore marketable non-timber forest products available in the area to diversify and increase the income of the local population and provide economic value to the iconic trees.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES

The project is being implemented in the province of Woleu-Ntem, the area most affected by logging and where the old cocoa plantations are still found.

The province of Woleu-Ntem is located in the north of Gabon where the rural exodus has considerably reduced the density of the active population. The Minkébé National Park, a vast protected area of 8,000 km2 , is located in the heart of the equatorial forest where local communities and indigenous peoples live side by side.

Although the development of cocoa farming in the 1970s enabled many families to assert themselves socially and economically, today this crop is stagnating or even declining in the region. The new government policies, oriented towards the exploitation of natural resources such as wood, have devalued agriculture. A large number of farmers have therefore abandoned cocoa production in the province, although some are persevering despite the difficulties encountered.

The agro-climatic conditions in the province are conducive to cocoa cultivation, and the return of a strong global demand for cocoa is a boon for forest communities.

It is also an important challenge for the producers. They need to boost their productivity while :
  • reducing their pressure on forests and ecosystems
  • increasing the productivity and quality of the beans
  • selling the beans to the Caisse de Stabilisation et de Péréquation (CAISTAB), which collects cocoa on credit and has a considerable delay before paying its debt
  • diversifying their sources of income. 

ACTIVITIES AND IMPACTS

In support of our local partner Brainforest, the specific objectives of the project are

  • To improve productivity through the rehabilitation of 50 ha of old plantations

  • To promote a profitable and quality production (5 tons / year) by the supply of equipment and plant material and by the reinforcement of capacities of 30 producers on the good agricultural practices

  • Structure the producers by grouping them into 1 agricultural cooperative and training them in management, marketing and sales

  • Advocate for a change in the cocoa marketing model in Gabon to ensure that producers receive payment for their cocoa at the edge of the field with a zero deforestation premium. Analyse the non-timber forest products that can be developed by the local population to diversify their sources of income.  

TOOLS & RESSOURCES


PARTNERS

  • FONDATION MAISONS DU MONDE
    Created at the end of 2015, the Maisons du Monde Foundation is committed to protecting forests and their biodiversity.

    The foundation supports three complementary areas of activity in favour of forests: preserving forests, enhancing the value of wood and mobilising for the environment.
    EUROFINS FOuNDATION 
    The Eurofins Foundation supports initiatives that resonate with its core objectives of protecting the environment, improving nutrition and health, and supporting people in need in countries where Eurofins operates.

    https://www.eurofins.com/eurofins-foundation/


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