In a special feature about the project, Kaoka CEO, Guy Deberdt, and Industry & Quality Director, Sébastien Balmisse, describe the interest shown by the private sector in developing an agroforestry-based organic fair trade industry. The challenge for Kaoka is to preserve biodiversity by limiting deforestation, achieved through maintaining the diversity of the cocoa varieties cultivated. In addition to the beneficial spillover environmental impacts, these agroforestry practices improve the productivity and economic returns from these plots of land.
Supported by the FFEM in partnership with the Centre international d’agriculture tropicale (CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture), World Agroforestry, and the NGO Conservation International, this project allows conservation plans to be brought to fruition and so preserves natural resources in cocoa farming areas.
The FFEM supports numerous agroforestry projects with the goal of aligning biodiversity with the economic and social development of the local people. Farming and the planting of different species of wood within the same plot of land help re-create environment mosaics of high ecological value, restoring the land’s ability to provide some regulatory function against the threat of climate risk and shock. This also brings an additional income stream to the local people, from the sale of the fruit and wood obtained from the forest plantations.