On Wednesday 24 March, the first technical session of the World Bank-supported Cocoa & Forest Knowledge Exchange programme was held online, animated by Kinomé. This programme aims to fight deforestation and promote a sustainable cocoa sector by creating agroforestry cocoa ambassadors in 6 countries.
Wednesday’s session was structured around three main moments:
- An introduction to the technical part of the programme. Indeed, after three sessions led by our partner Alisos on alliance-building, Wednesday’s session marked the beginning of a new chapter in the programme. Participants received an in-depth explanation of the topics covered in the technical webinars.
- Technical training on agroforestry system design. Yohann Fare, Head of Sustainable Pathways at Kinomé, shed light on several topics, such as the shading of plots. Patrick Jagoret, an agronomist at CIRAD and currently head of the Cocoa4Future project, was present. Invited by Kinomé, he presented to the participants the results of his research in Central Cameroon on complex agroforestry systems and alternative pest management. Participants also benefited from the expertise of Richard Asare, an agronomist at IITA and specialist in the resilience of cocoa farming to climate change through agroforestry. He discussed in detail the design of agroforestry systems and the importance of finding associations that correspond to the needs of smallholder farmers.
- Technical training on creating public-private partnerships and financing sustainable cocoa projects. Yohann Fare spoke about the importance of working together to achieve our common goal: cocoa that does not deforest and that pays producers fairly. The Kinomé team then got the participants – from both the private and public sectors – to work on public-private partnerships (PPPs) and ways of working together. In addition, Andréanne Grimard presented EcoTierra, a partner of Kinomé on several projects. EcoTierra is a developer of sustainable forestry and agroforestry projects that encourages the creation of strong partnerships.
In small group work, the countries were mixed for the first time. The Brazilians and Colombians exchanged views with the Ivorians on the success of cocoa agroforestry projects in their countries. The Ghanaians had the opportunity to discuss with the Peruvians and Dominicans the obstacles to the sustainable implementation of agroforestry in the cocoa value chain. They all looked for concrete solutions to fight deforestation and promote a sustainable cocoa sector through agroforestry. During the webinar, participants expressed their enthusiasm for having taken part in these intercontinental dialogues. This is what the Cocoa & Forest Knowledge Exchange program is all about. Although the cocoa industry players generally know each other at the national level, the programme encourages dialogue between the continents.
To “bring the field back online”, Kinomé broadcast during the webinar videos of two agroforestry projects (the Santender cooperative in Colombia and the Camayé cooperative in Ivory Coast). These videos were shot by Kinomé’s partner, AADO MEDIA, in late February and early March. The splendid images and the touching speeches of the people interviewed delighted the participants and made it possible for Africans to discover Latin American agroforestry and vice versa.
Kinomé has arranged to meet the participants on 14 April for technical session number 2 of the programme. This will be an opportunity to discuss a new theme: how to work with small-scale producers. This is an issue that has been close to the hearts of both sides of the Atlantic since the beginning of the programme.