Published November 27, 2023 | Version v1
Publication Open

Adaptation to climate variability: farmers' practices and perspectives in cocoa farming in Côte d'Ivoire

  • 1. African Center of Excellence for Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture (WASCAL/CEA-CCBAD), Félix Houphouët-Boigny University (UFHB), Côte d'Ivoire,
  • 2. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • 3. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • 4. RainForest Alliance / UTZ, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • 5. World Agroforestry (ICRAF) West and Central Africa Regional Office; Sc/ Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • 6. OCODEVI, NGO based in Quebec City, Canada


Côte d'Ivoire supplies over 40% of cocoa production worldwide. Climatic variability threatens to significantly reduce the area suitable for cocoa cultivation. Cocoa farmers have already leveraged their intimate knowledge of the local climate to adapt their production systems to climate change. However, their practices have not been well documented or evaluated. In response, this study aims to assess climate-smart cocoa practices for scalability recommendations. The study was conducted across three zones of predicted climate impacts on cocoa production: low impact, high impact, and a transformational impact. Climate-smart practices were inventoried, analyzed, and synthesized in different production contexts and by household categories in terms of well-being and asset endowment. The list of practices was then validated in a national stakeholder workshop in terms of agricultural productivity, food security, income generation, climate resilience and ecosystem services, economic viability and sustainability, and adoption probability. The resulting recommended practices are presented according to climate hazard. These recommendations represent local experiential knowledge consensus and offer valuable options for sustainable cocoa management in a changing climate. Our results show that Ivorian cocoa farmers broadly believe climate change will continue to worsen and have already widely adopted several of the recommended practices, particularly agroforestry. However, nearly none of the farmers across all three impact zones anticipate that cocoa production will become unviable. Climate information services offer significant potential for addressing this information gap and further supporting farmers' decision making in the face of climate change.

Keywords: Climate Change, climate-smart practices, diversification, resilience, West Africa