|Abstract||Cocoa production has been one of the main cash providers of West and Central African economies. With the liberalization of the perennial tree sector, fluctuations of cocoa income increased. This fluctuation coincided with the period when the demand at the local, regional and international markets of plants that are or could be associated with cocoa was rising. Those plants comprised mainly timber and non wood forest products.
The gradual reduction of natural forest, from which such products were gathered, implies, among several strategies, the need to grow them in agroforestry systems such as cocoa farms. In those cocoa orchards or agroforests, broadening the basket of crops by complementing cocoa with non-cocoa trees became necessary. Such broadening can help to stabilize and increase income, provide ecological services, etc. Unfortunately, farmers have not been fully exposed to such a cocoa agroforestry model. In view of helping research and development institutions in promoting sustainable tree crop systems, this background and strategy paper attempts, for the main cocoa producing countries of West Africa (Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire), to: (1) present the dynamics at the local and international level underlying the need to develop multistrata and multispecies cocoa agroforestry systems (2) analyze species considerations in line with the development of such systems (3) present structural consideration related to the system (4) present some potential models and (5) give orientations to develop and implement such a system in West and Central Africa. |