FAO Regional Office for Africa

Land restoration and sustainable cocoa farming: FAO supports the Ivorian Government through a structuring project

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has reaffirmed its commitment to support the Government of Côte d'Ivoire in the implementation of sustainable agricultural value chains.

On the sidelines of the official activities of the 15th Conference of the Parties in Abidjan, FAO Deputy Director-General, Ms. Maria Helena Semedo and the Ivorian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, signed on Wednesday, 11 May 2022, the project on the scaling up of transformative innovations in food systems, land use and cocoa-based restoration in Côte d'Ivoire (SCOLUR-CI).

Worth over US$5 million, or 3.5 billion CFA francs, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), this project aims to promote deforestation-free cocoa value chains and restore forests in cocoa landscapes in Côte d'Ivoire. Scolur-CI is intended for more than 200,000 direct beneficiaries in the regions of Cavally, Guémon, Mé, and Indénié-Djuablin to help them transition their production system towards a more sustainable and more rewarding mode of production in terms of income.  It aims, among other things, to (i) sustainably manage cocoa landscapes with increased forest restoration to support agriculture and environmental services, (ii) improve the efficiency and sustainability of cocoa value chains in Côte d'Ivoire, and (iii) increase the area of the forest landscape under conservation and restoration.

Ms. Semedo said that SCOLUR-CI is in line with the vision of the Ivorian Head of State, H.E. Alassane Ouattara, to develop the agricultural sector by focusing on value chains or more sustainable agri-food systems.

The FAO Representative in Côte d'Ivoire, Mr. Samy Gaiji, noted that this project is a first stone in the building of value chains, hoping that in the coming months the organization will deploy more investments in other sectors.

The representative of the Ivorian Government, Minister Kobenan Adjoumani, welcomed the FAO initiative: "In two years, FAO has been able to mobilize expertise, work intelligently with the departments of the various technical ministries involved and mobilize partners for the finalization of this project, which is in line with the vision of the Abidjan call of the COP 15. The results of this project will make it possible to solve the problems of food security, deforestation and improvement of the incomes of small-scale farmers," underlined Minister Adjoumani, while welcoming the excellent cooperation between his Ministry and the FAO.

SCOLUR-CI is now part of the list of initiatives that FAO is implementing to support the progressive restoration of forests in Côte d'Ivoire. SCOLUR-CI is a project within the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program of the GEF, a 27-country program led by the World Bank that seeks to transform food and land use systems by accelerating action in landscapes and along value chains for eight major commodities, including cocoa.