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Cocoa combined with palm wine in Côte d'Ivoire: An unexpected resilience

Ruf F.. 2014. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques (321) : p. 33-44.

Wild oil palm growth is so vigorous that it may be almost considered as a ¿weed¿ in neglected and abandoned cocoa farms. However, West-African oil palm is valued for its production of palm wine, and may provide additional revenues and income diversification. In the central-western region of Côte d'Ivoire, wild oil palm from old cocoa farms played a major role in the1990s, when farmers simultaneously faced the impact of the collapse of cocoa prices and of conflictual inheritance processes leading to the temporary abandon of many cocoa farms where the density of oil palm then increased rapidly. Palm wine was tapped by cutting down palm trees. It generated self-consumption, revenues, risk reduction, employment and intergenerational and institutional arrangements. In the Humid Tropics, plant species of local economic importance such as wild oil palm can help increase the resilience of farmers to external shocks. Rather than trying to look only for an intensification trend, it is also relevant to evaluate the relay cropping and its resilience of a tree-crop farm over its full life-cycle.

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; elaeis guineensis; exploitation agricole familiale; petite exploitation agricole; agroforesterie; famille; sociologie rurale; développement agricole; revenu de l'exploitation; diversification; rotation culturale; culture fruitière; côte d'ivoire; vin de palme; service environnemental

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