Description of plantation resources
Plantations are state-owned and their purpose is timber production for export. The Society for the Development of Forests (SODEFOR), established in 1966, is in charge of forest resources management. (FAO, 1999)
Development of forest plantations
The first plantation was established in 1926 by the government. Plantations were started in the northern and central regions in 1929 in conjunction with agricultural crops using the taungya system. Tectona grandis, Cassia spp., Gmelina spp. and Azadirachta indica were the main species planted.
Between 1935 and 1965, more than 8 000 ha of plantations were established by the government. In 1966, SODEFOR was established to manage plantations (FAO, 1999). At first it aimed to establish 250 000 ha of plantation, at a rate of 10 000 ha per annum. However, due to lack of funds, the actual annual planting hardly ever exceeded 5 000 ha. In 1992, management of forest plantations was entirely committed to SODEFOR.
After 1970, planting in the northern and central regions mostly stopped. By the end of 1980, many of the old plantations had disappeared and the rest had been used to meet domestic demand. Up to 1996, 97 274 ha of plantations were established in government forests (FAO, 1999).
Rubber accounts for the largest plantation area. Tectona grandis and Terminalia spp. follow (Deodatus, 1999, IRSG, 1997 and Maldonado and Louppe, 2000).
The area of Tectona grandis is the second largest outside Asian countries. It was introduced in 1927 and its use spread rapidly. At the beginning of the 1990s, the international market for Tectona grandis grew considerably (Maldonado and Louppe, 2000).
After the revision of the forest regulations in 1995, it was required that those harvesting forests plant rural areas with 0.1 percent of their concession area annually. Thus, about 2 000 ha of plantations were established in 1996, 6 000 ha in 1997 and 9 000 ha in 1998 (FAO, 1999).
The number of sites and their scattered location make plantations difficult for SODEFOR to manage with its limited human resources and skills (Maldonado and Louppe, 2000).
APCC. 1997. Coconut statistical yearbook 1997. Jakarta. Asian and Pacific Coconut Community.
FAO. 1993. Projet développement des plantations forestières 2709. Rome.
FAO. 1999. FRA 2000, Collecte des données Côte d´Ivoire. (unpublished) Rome.
IRSG. 1997. World rubber statistics handbook 1975-1995. 5. London, International Rubber Study Group.
ISA. 1999. Oil world annual 1999. Hamburg, Germany, Internationale Statistische Agrarinformationen.
Maldonado, G. & Louppe, D. 2000. Challenges of teak in Côte d´Ivoire.