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NGO tasks cocoa farmers on agroforestry to mitigate climate change impacts

By George George Idowu

The Biakwan Light Green Initiative (BLGI), conservation non-profit, has called on cocoa farmers to adopt agroforestry practices as a key solution to climate change.

Supported by the Global Environment Facility – Small Grant Project (GEF-SGP) Nigeria, BLGI aims to help communities address climate change, food security, poverty alleviation, and gender inclusiveness.

BLGI Program Manager, Odey Boniface, highlighted that integrating trees and shrubs into agricultural landscapes can sequester carbon, improve soil health, boost biodiversity, and provide additional income for farmers.

He said: “We are deeply concerned about the climate change impacts on the cocoa farming communities of Boki in Cross River State, such as reduced rainfall and rising temperatures.”

He emphasized the urgent need for cocoa farmers to embrace agroforestry to mitigate climate stressors and prevent further deforestation.

Boniface also called on the government to address the adverse effects of logging and unsustainable farming practices, noting that the concerns of forest communities, especially women, have been overlooked.

Boniface pointed out that Boki, a major cocoa-producing area, has over 70% of its farms affected by climate change, leading to low productivity and economic losses, with women, children, and the vulnerable being the hardest hit.

Speaking in Calabar, Cross River State’s capital, he announced a community-led forest management strategy to help locals understand and address environmental issues, promoting adaptation principles for better yields.

“We are committed to helping farmers, especially cocoa farmers, recognize the benefits of planting trees to shield cocoa plants from extreme heat and water stress,” Boniface added.


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