Agriculture in Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) is situated in the West of Africa bordering to the East, Ghana, to the north Mali, Burkina Faso and to the west Liberia and Guinea. Bordering the North Atlantic Ocean Ivory Coast is made up of three distinct geographic regions: the southeast is marked by coastal lagoons; the southwest is densely forested, and the northern region is called the savannah zone. The capital city of Ivory Coast is Abidjan. Apart from the Cavally River, which forms most of the border with Liberia, major rivers from west to east are the Sassandra, the Bandama, and the Komoé, all of which drain southward into the Gulf of Guinea.
The forest soils of the south tend to lose their fertility because of excessive leaching and turn into laterites, which contain iron oxide. The poorly drained, yellow, swampy soils, also found largely in the south, more readily maintain their fertility because of their silica and clay minerals content. Crust like “shields,” formed as a result of rapid evaporation, alternate with rich black silico-clayey soils in the savanna areas.
The climate of Ivory Coast is generally warm and humid, ranging from equatorial in the southern coasts to tropical in the middle and semiarid in the far north. Rainfall is more abundant on the coast, where it's between 1,500 and 2,500 millimetres per year, while in inland areas, it's generally less intense and ranges from 1,200 to 1,500 mm per year, even though it reaches 2,000 mm in the small western mountainous area.
With a land area of 322,462 km2 the Ivorian population was estimated at 26.5 million people in 2021 (World Bank statistics) Cote d'Ivoire is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly two third of the population. Agriculture accounted for 16 % of the GDP (2021). Approximately 17.7million ha of the total agricultural land is under permanent crop or pasture production, and the remaining 2.9 million ha is under arable cropping systems. Perennial tree cropping systems dictate the agricultural landscape.
The country is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil. 70% of Cacao production is located in West Africa, approximately 50% of which is supplied from the Ivory Coast. The country's development has been impeded by social issues and is reputably poor as 46.3% of the Coast's population lives in poverty.
Theobroma cacao is shade-loving tree native to the understory of rainforests, growing at low elevation in the foothills of the Andes, and the great South American equatorial river basins the Amazon River Basin, and the Orinoco River Basin. The tree is a choice crop for areas of Zulu with low to slight elevations, good soils, and the constant humidity of the tropics.
The crop is grown in Ivory Coast mostly by smallholder farmers planting on 1-3 hectares. The pods containing the beans are harvested when a sufficient number are ripe, opened to separate the seeds and pulp from the outer rind, and the seeds and pulp are usually allowed to ferment somewhere on the farm, before the seeds are dried in a central location. The dried seeds are purchased by a traitant or buyer who travels among villages in an area to weigh, purchase and collect the crop. The traitant then takes the crop to a short-holding warehouse in a major town or city where the major exporters purchase the seeds and arrange for its export from Ivory Coast.
Ivory Cost is also among the world’s largest producers of kola nuts, cashews, and yams. Other major exports include rubber (11%), cocoa butter (6%), coconut (3.8%), bananas (3.4%) and coffee (1.1%). Staple food crops include rice, maize, cassava, yam, plantain, and vegetables. These crops are overwhelmingly produced by the smallholder farmers.
There are two main animal husbandry systems: sedentary herds are found primarily in the savannah zones, and nomadic or semi-nomadic pastoralists move regionally with the seasons. About 65% of smallholders own chickens, and about 35% own sheep and/or goats.
There are clearly defined livestock (especially cattle) zones defined by tsetse fly presence, which, so far, has made it impossible to keep Zebu cattle in the south. Almost 90% of the cattle are north of the eighth parallel in the Sudan-Guinean zone, grazing the natural savannah in an extensive system. The north, being less affected by tsetse fly, is the great cattle zone, whence there is a considerable trade in cattle to the south. Sedentary crop-farmers do not take readily to cattle-keeping. There are five main cattle breeds or types – Baoulé (Savannah West African Shorthorn), N’Dama, Méré (Zebu x humpless), Lagune (Dwarf West African Shorthorn) and Zebu (Sudanese type from Mali and Upper Volta). Cattle play an important social role and are often slaughtered for traditional, religious or family feasts. They are also a form of saving and commercial offtake is low.
The Baoulé breed, which accounts for about half of the cattle in the country, are humpless, trypanotolerant shorthorns that predominate in the savannahs, except in the west and northwest where the N’Dama are more numerous. They are found in forest clearing areas in small isolated groups. Except for the Peulh, most Ivoiriens do not consume milk nor milk products so cattle are not milked unless they are owned or herded by Peulh. The milk yield of Baoulé cows is generally low, sufficient or their calves. Sheep in the Côte d’Ivoire are mainly of the Djallonké breed (there are some Sahelian sheep in the North). Two types may be distinguished: the dwarf sheep found in forest areas, and the larger Savannah sheep in the north. Besides grazing, crop residues are fed to Djallonke lambs during periods of forage shortage especially in the dry season period. Commercial sheep production has evolved in a few cases from modified village production. Farmers who have improved their husbandry have found their flocks increasing to such an extent that they have moved their animals from the villages and established farms specializing in livestock production, where goats and cattle are also usually kept.
Forestry in Ivory Coast
Although IC is the world’s top cocoa producer it has lost more than 85% of its forest cover since 1960, mainly due to cocoa farming . The current assessment of Ivory Coast’s forests as measured by satellite imagery among other methods shows a clear trend of deforestation and deterioration of forest resources. It appears that the Ivorian forests shrank from 7.8 million hectares in 1990 to 3.4 million hectares in 2015. Forest types. Two main forest types can be distinguished in the rainforests of the south: wet evergreen and semi-deciduous. The former is poorly stocked in commercial species but contains Uapacaspp, Guarea cedrata (bossé), Tieghemella heckelii (makoré), Tarrietia utilis (niangon) and Triplochiton scleroxylon (samba). The latter, occurring in the central and northern parts of the forested zone, was once rich in valuable timber species, including samba, Mansonia altissima (beté), Nesogordonia papaverifera (kotibé) and Khaya ivorensis (acajou).
Some commonly harvested species for industrial roundwood:
Tectona grandis (teak) – planted
Triplochiton scleroxylon (ayous)
Ceiba pentandra (fromager)
Lophira alata (azobé)
Terminalia superba (fraké)
Fisheries in Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast has a coastline of 550 km, a continental shelf of 11,000 km2, three lagoons (Ebrié, Aby and Tadjo) covering 1,500 km2, of four large artificial lakes which (Ayamé, Kossou, Buyo and Taabo), and 1,700 km2 of rivers and streams. The fisheries sector in Ivory coast is an at the same time importer and exporter. The sector produces 30% of locally consumed fish (consumption is estimated at 275,000 tonnes (t) is 16,2 kg/capita/year). The marine fishing sector lands annually about 63,000 (t), Lagoon and inland fisheries produces about 30,000 (t). The deficit of about 182,000 (t) is imported. The majority of the artisanal fishermen target the small pelagic, i.e. the sardinelles, pikes (barracudas), carangues (Caranx spp), Brachydeuterus auritus. Other pelagics targeted are marlins, sailfish and Spanish mackerels.
It should be noted that the continental shelf of the Ivory Coast is relatively narrow, explaining the relatively low fisheries potential of Ivory Coast which hardly exceed 10.000 tons of biomass. The sardine fisheries is based in Abidjan, their catches are composed of the small pelagics (Sardinelles, Maquereaux, Pelons, Anchois), which are resources shared with Ghana and to a lesser extent with Togo and Benign. The round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) which knew a collapse in 1974, became again, since1984, the dominant species in the catches
They are the shellfish, fish resources and cephalopod. The first group is most important; the representatives of the second are also exploited but mainly exported. The cephalopods can be considered by catch as they are not really targeted. The fish are subdivided in species which are found on the trawling fishing grounds (flat fish Pseudotolithus spp, Galeoides) and those which live on the rocky bottoms (Lutjanus, Sparus, mérous, etc). In river mouth areas shrimp are found, which are especially targeted by foreign vessels. To avoid confusion it should be noted that the name “langoustine” is used for the commercial category of shrimps of the Penaeus species.