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Typology of cocoa-based agroforestry systems in a forest-savannah transition zone: case study of Kokumbo (Centre, Côte d’Ivoire)

Kpangui Kouassi Bruno, Kouame Djaha, Gone Bi Zoro Bertin, Vroh Bi Tra Aimé, Koffi Béné Jean Claude, Adou Yao Constant Yves

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Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.6(3), 36-47, March 2015

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Abstract

The introduction of hybrid varieties cocoa has led to the progressive disappearance of the complex agroforestry systems in Côte d’Ivoire. However in forests-savannah transition area, these systems seem to persist in despite the high frequency of bushfires, low rainfalls and the change of cocoa trees varieties. To understand the farming practices in that zone, data were collected in 68 cocoa farms located in three major cocoa producing in the sub-prefecture of Kokumbo. We used 105 plots of 0.0625 ha (25 m X 25 m) to characterize the botanical composition, structure, biophysical variation and management practices. In the 6.56 ha cocoa farm surveyed 2,149 stems belonging to 86 species and 36 families were encountered. The average species richness varied from 4 species to 6.4 per 625 m2 plot. The global density of associated plants was 227.3 trees/ha for a basal area of 24.1 m2 / ha. Results also showed significant differences in farmers’ practices which enabled us to distinguish three main cocoa agroforestry Systems (AFS): Simple AFS with open canopy and high density of plantain trees, characterized by the hybrid varieties; young complex AFS with high species diversity and opened canopy; and complex AFS with dense and closed canopy characterized Amelonado variety. These results highlight the strategy adopted by the farmers in the management of cocoa plantations in the zone of transition forest-savannah. Additional analyses must be done to assess their yield and the biomass.

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