Beneficiary of the PROMIRE project, N’Guessan Amlan Monique regains hope through agroforestry


N’Guessan Amlan Monique is a 64-year-old widow and mother of 4 children. She is a cocoa producer in Ebikro-N’Dakro in the South Comoé region. Her husband's death nearly 20 years ago left her emotionally empty and she struggled with financial difficulties that she has to face alone. As a widow, she now has the responsibility of feeding and taking care of her children.

For the sixty-year-old, a day's work starts at 7:30 am and ends at 12:30 pm. Every day, she struggles by working for the future of her children through her 1-hectare cocoa plantation, even though she lacks the labor and means to maintain it. In her plantation, several cocoa trees were drying up and dying due to the sun. Also, the production was insignificant, and it was truly impossible to meet the family's needs. The fluctuations in cocoa prices, unpredictable weather conditions, and the family's daily needs remain a puzzle for her.

For the past two years, she has benefited from the support of the project "Promoting cocoa production without deforestation to reduce emissions in Côte d'Ivoire" (PROMIRE) executed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Ecological Transition. The project's support has involved providing valuable assistance to cocoa producers by teaching them good sustainable agricultural practices, strengthening women's capacities in digital literacy, leadership, personal development, and entrepreneurship.

"The first time I heard about the PROMIRE project, I was skeptical, but I joined with the hope that it would bring improvements to my plantation and my life. The aspect of the project that greatly contributed to my well-being was the emphasis on forest preservation. I was encouraged to adopt agricultural practices that preserve biodiversity and contribute to the fight against deforestation. I received several forest and fruit tree seedlings that I planted on my cocoa plot. I see that the cocoa trees are growing well, and the yield of my plantation has significantly increased. This has also had a positive impact on the quality of my cocoa, as international buyers are increasingly emphasizing the sustainability of agricultural practices.

The income from the plantation is a real relief for us. I cling to hope and determination. Every morning, I wake up with the will to provide a better future for my children. My love for my children and my passion for the land give me the strength to continue," she rejoices.

"The support I receive reinforces my belief that change is possible. If I live long enough, I know that one day I will be happy because of the benefits of the trees I am planting now. By sharing my story, I hope to raise awareness about the challenges faced by many widow cocoa producers like me. My dream is that, through collective awareness and concerted actions, and by encouraging many women to join the project, I am already sensitizing them to this; so that we can create fairer conditions for farmers, ensuring a sustainable future for our families and communities," she concludes.

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