Sustainable agriculture: Côte d’Ivoire has made “good progress” in the fight against deforestation, says European Commissioner. April,17

April 17, 2024

Agboville, Ivory Coast

Côte d’Ivoire has made “good progress” in the fight against deforestation, said the European Union (EU) Commissioner for the Environment on Sunday during a visit to cocoa plantations in the country on Sunday, April 07, 2024, at a time when Brussels wants to ban the import of products from deforested areas.

“The aim of this visit is to ensure a smooth transition” so that “products arriving in the EU do not contribute to deforestation here in Côte d’Ivoire”, said Virginijus Sinkevičius, during a visit to Agboville (south).

In April 2023, the European Parliament adopted a text banning the import of products from land that has been deforested after December 31, 2020.

According to the EU embassy in Côte d’Ivoire, it should be effective by the end of the year.

“The EU and Côte d’Ivoire do a lot of trade, and we are of course aware that the new regulations will have an impact” on the country, the world’s leading cocoa producer, which exports 59% of the commodity to the EU, said Sinkevičius.

But as regards the fight against deforestation, “Côte d’Ivoire has made very good progress, so I sincerely believe that it will increase exports of products from sustainable agriculture”, he added during a visit to cocoa and rubber plantations.

The text obliges exporting countries to trace the products they sell, which Côte d’Ivoire has begun to do with cocoa.
Since 2019, the state has identified nearly a million planters, of whom more than 110,000 have received a card containing digital data on their production, according to the Conseil café cacao, the Ivorian public body responsible for regulating the sector.
President of a cooperative in Agboville, Alida N’Takpé, however, has “a few fears”, including the “geolocation” of producers, which requires “manpower” and the means to buy equipment.
Côte d’Ivoire, which had 16 million hectares of forest in the 1960s, has seen this area shrink by 90%, according to official figures, mainly due to the development of cocoa plantations.
The country is committed to restoring 20% of its forest land by 2030.
Worldwide, 90% of deforestation is due to the expansion of agricultural land, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Humaniterre with AFP

Photo credit : Issouf Sanogo


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