Publications des agents du Cirad


Intercropping cocoa with fruit trees : Innovative systems in cocoa cultivation. Setting up a new plot on fallows or savannah areas

Bourgoing R., Todem H.. 2010. Montpellier : CIRAD, 85 p..

Since the end of the 80s, cocoa growers in Cameroon have experienced a low level of income due, among others, to the low productivity of cocoa trees. The average yield is estimated at about 300 kg of dried cocoa beans per hectare. The low level of adoption of the results and recommendations of cocoa research as well as the fact that the technologies developed do not respond to the real needs of the producers are among the causes of the low yields observed in cocoa farms. In addition, the insufficiency or complete absence of technical management, and extension staff in the field makes the situation worse. In a context marked since 2000 by rising cocoa prices in the international market, farmers are determined to boost cocoa production. A particular emphasis is placed on the diversification of income sources through the development of mixed cropping systems, but yields of cocoa and interplanted crops remain low. The objective of this technical guide is to contribute in providing support to farmers in the process of building innovations in cocoa farming. This guide is based on the results of pilot trials conducted since 2006 in 168 plots in the villages of Bakoa and Kedia in the Mbam-et- Inoubou division, and Ezezang in the Lekie and Ngat in the Mefou-et-Afamba divisions respectively in the Centre Region of Cameroon. A large network, with the development of new technologies, has been established: 143 farmers supported by 16 cocoa producers' groups took part in the activities of participatory research; the technologies tested include: (i) planting design for associating cacao trees with other perennials such as citrus (Citrus spp.), other fruit trees (avocado, Perseo americana, safou or african plum, Dacryodes edulis) and pluriannual crops such as plantains, (ii) promotion of performing plant materials, (iii) use of a cover crops in cacao-based cropping system, (iv) the technique of producing plantain seedlings through a vegetative multiplication by fragmentations (called "PIF" in french), and (v) methods of managing cocoa plantations. This technical guide is also meant to help project managers and agricultural and development technicians in decision making

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; culture intercalaire; culture fruitière; innovation; vulgarisation agricole; multiplication végétative; pratique culturale; culture sous couvert végétal; cameroun

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