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Characterization of cocoa agroforestry cropping, systems and evaluation of their sustainability: The case of Central Cameroon

Jagoret P., Michel I., Malézieux E.. 2009. In : Book of abstracts of the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry, 23-28 August 2009, Nairobi, Kenya : Agroforestry, the future of global land use. Nairobi : WCA [Nairobi], p. 274-274. World Congress of Agroforestry. 2, 2009-08-23/2009-08-28, Nairobi (Kenya).

The oldest cocoa production region of Cameroon is the Centre-South basin. Here, cocoa cultivation appeared at the beginning of the Twentieth Century before it greatly expanded until the 1960s. Therefore, a large part of the cocoa orchards contain very old, yet still active, cocoa plots, contrary to what is commonly thought. With regard to the questions that the existence of these aged and still exploited cocoa plots pose, 742 surveys were conducted to characterize and to evaluate their level of sustainability. Two old cocoa production zones, Nyong and So¿o and Lékié, which differ with regard to their pedo-climatic and socioeconomic characteristics, were surveyed. Four criteria: stability, viability, technical level, and complexity, each including several indicators, were defined to characterize the sustainability of these cocoa cropping systems. The results confirm that these old cocoa plots, handed over from generation to generation of farmers, remain the economic and social basis of the farm. On the one hand, their sustainability is based on their agroforestry characteristic. This characteristic is expressed by a plot layout with many forest and fruit tree species associated with the cocoa trees. On the other hand, their sustainability is based on the progressive renewal of the cocoa trees which causes a high diversity within the cocoa tree populations. These cocoa-agroforestry systems, which require few inputs and little work, allow a cocoa production level which is stable for the very long term, combined with a high level of agrobiodiversity. (Texte intégral)

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; agroforesterie; cameroun

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