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Cocoa & Forests Initiative

"It is important for us because we must come together to bring back the forest."

In Guéménédou, within the Gôh region of Côte d'Ivoire, Claude Désiré Aboussou, a seasoned farmer, found himself at a crossroads. Claude had observed the gradual degradation of his cocoa farm as unpredictable weather patterns made cocoa production difficult. "During the drought, cocoa does not produce well, and during the long rainy season, there is a lot of brown rot," Claude said, reflecting on the challenges he faced.

Claude is a member of the SI3C cooperative, where CFI-aligned programming aims to educate cocoa farmers on the importance of forest conservation and the principles of implementing agroforestry. These awareness-raising sessions and training programs seek to foster a collective commitment to conservation. Claude participated in training that helped him increase the resilience of his farm and protect the surrounding environment.

With the provision of free multi-purpose shade seedlings, Claude was able to adopt agroforestry practices on his farm and within his community. "I plant the trees because later they will provide shade for the cocoa trees, and fruit trees like akpi, and kola nuts will also give me money," Claude explained, describing the vision for a more resilient and diversified farm. In part due to the program training and agroforestry assistance, Claude was not only able to diversify his own farm but has also raised awareness within his community.

"It is important for us because we must come together to bring back the forest," Claude emphasized, underscoring the significance of community-driven initiatives in preserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. In Guéménédou, Claude's efforts are bearing fruit, both figuratively and literally.



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