Cocoa plantations in West Africa are not as productive as expected, yielding low income for farmers. To compensate and improve their livelihoods, farmers have resulted to expanding their farms into forests. Amongst other factors, poor soil fertility has emerged as one of the most critical factors that has contributed to a decline in productivity in cocoa. In addition, the knowledge gap on good crop nutrition and proper management of cocoa trees cannot be overemphasised. Particularly, knowledge on the best nutrition for the cocoa tree (in terms of the different key plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients is lacking).

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Integrated Soil Fertility Management

The program aims to deploy an Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) approach that embraces an integrated system’s approach to cocoa intensification while combining improved planting materials, canopy cover management and pest/disease control with targeted fertilizer application to enhance sustainability and avoid deforestation. This is complemented by (re)-use of locally available (organic) nutrient sources and appropriate intercropping.
The project is constructed around an R4D (research for development) component, aiming at generating new knowledge on cocoa ISFM that is led by both international and national research institutions and a P4D (partnerships for delivery) component which ensures that such knowledge gets into the hands of cocoa farmers

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 Looking back and moving forward: Key outputs generated by the CocoaSoils Program

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Our Partners

The program is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). It is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)and Wageningen University and Research (WUR)and benefits from engagement from national Cocoa Research Institutes of Cameroon (IRAD), Côte d’Ivoire (CNRA), Ghana (CRIG)and Nigeria (CRIN); international research centres (including the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture – CIAT, the World Agroforestry Centre – ICRAF, the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre – UNEP-WCMC); and some cocoa and fertilizer companies convened through the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)across West Africa.

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