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Farmer attitudes and intentions towards trees in cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) farms in Côte d'Ivoire

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Cocoa yields in Côte d'Ivoire are low and falling each year partly as a result of full-sun cropping systems. Thus interest is now high in establishing sustainable cocoa agroforestry systems through the re-introduction of shade trees. This article uses data collected from a sample of 400 cocoa farmers in the Soubr_ region of Côte d'Ivoire to analyze farmers' current and intention to plant trees in their cocoa farms in the future and the motivation for their decision. Logit regressions are used to assess the various determinants of current tree planting behaviour and future adoption intention. Results show that both current and likelihood of deliberately planting trees with cocoa in the future is significantly affected by extension and certification programs severity of diseases affecting cocoa and geographic zone. Future intentions to associate trees with cocoa are further influenced by the age of the farmers household size and the average age of the cocoa farm. To increase the adoption of tree planting in cocoa fields there is the need to intensify extension messages on the benefit of shade trees in cocoa farms especially in areas where adoption intention is still low. Where awareness is high adoption can be increased through the supply of seedlings and provision of specific trainings on planting density and management techniques to ensure that agroforestry has the maximum positive effect.

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