Agronomy Research Expertise in Montpellier and Languedoc-Roussillon (South of France)

Agronomy : crops and cropping systems

Keywords :

Ecological intensification of cocoa- or coffee-based agroforestry systems

1. Ensuring top quality, high quantity production

1. Ensuring top quality, high quantity production

Agroforestry cocoa plantation in central Cameroon. - © P. Jagoret Agroforestry stands in which cocoa and coffee trees are grown alongside many different woody, forest or fruit species are complex systems with high environmental and socioeconomic value. These sustainable systems require few chemical inputs and, in addition to coffee and cocoa, they provide farmers with a range of self-consumed or marketed fruits, timber and medicinal products. They also participate in biodiversity conservation and carbon storage. There is, however, considerable potential for improving the performances of the different constituents of these systems in which interactions between the many associated species are complex.

Research carried out by CIRAD and partners, particularly in Latin America and Africa, is aimed at developing models of functional associations that take farmers’ expectations and environmental constraints into account. This implies describing cocoa- or coffee-based agroforestry systems, analysing their ecophysiological functioning, assessing their agroecological and socioeconomic performances, while also characterizing farmers’ cropping practices. The findings of this research has shed light on the dynamics of these systems, which vary differently over time depending on the local soil-climate conditions, situations and farmers’ strategies.

Further insight has been gained on agroecological and socioeconomic factors that determine the sustainability of these agroforestry systems and variations in their performances over time. The development of decision support and prediction tools based on the ecophysiological functioning of the species present also enables quantification of different complex processes (nutrient cycle, light interception, resource distribution). It is thus possible to meet farmers’ needs by proposing them the most suitable cropping practices for intensifying cocoa- and coffee-based agroforestry systems, while not reducing their high environmental value.

Didier Snoeck,
Patrick Jagoret,
Nathalie Lamanda,
& Dominique Nicolas,

Publication date: 30/05/2010


Compromis entre production et biodiversité arborée dans les agroforêts à café / N. Lamanda from agropolis International on Vimeo.



Update on 19/04/12


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