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Strengthening the climate resilience of cocoa and vanilla farmers

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Implementing sustainable agricultural practices for cooperatives in cocoa and vanilla cultivation in the Bundibugyo district of Uganda.

Currently, Bundibugyo accounts for up to 85% of cocoa production in Uganda. Foreign markets are more and more interested in Uganda's cocoa due to the favorable climate and soil conditions for cocoa cultivation and the low production costs. Bundibugyo is not only ideal for cocoa but also for vanilla, whose global demand is also on the rise.

However, climate change threatens ecosystems and resources, resulting in vegetation loss, pollution, and soil degradation. This has negative impacts on agriculture, health, and livelihoods. Uneven rainfall patterns due to climate change disrupt agriculture and cause extreme weather conditions such as floods and prolonged periods of drought.

Small-scale cocoa and vanilla farmers not only experience the impacts of climate change but also contribute to this problem through unsustainable farming practices, leading to increasing deforestation and greater vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Additionally, farmers have limited access to lucrative markets.

Restoration of a forest corridor

Model farms are employed to promote sustainable farming practices for cocoa and vanilla cultivation. These farms will demonstrate the various effects of low, medium, and high forest cover on the production of vanilla and cocoa, enabling farmers to choose the appropriate planting for an optimal balance between productivity and biodiversity.

Farmers will also be supported in planting and sustainably managing a natural forest corridor between two national parks. To restore forest cover on farmland, suitable indigenous shade trees will be identified, evaluated, and distributed among the farmers. Tree nurseries will also be established to propagate the desired species.

Additionally, the entrepreneurial and management skills of farmers will be enhanced to enable them to profit sustainably. Access to investment capital and customized insurance products are essential to make farms more climate-resilient. The project will also focus on strengthening the organization and institutionalization of climate adaptation practices for farmer cooperatives.

Expected results

Five farmer cooperatives in Bundibugyo are supported to produce cocoa and vanilla on an environmentally friendly and economically sustainable manner. Farmers will be trained in climate-smart production techniques and harvest processing. Using the Building Resilience tool, they will gain a better understanding of their climate vulnerability and select and implement the most suitable adaptation and mitigation measures.

Customized "green" financing products (loans and agricultural insurance) will be developed for cocoa and vanilla companies.

Project coordinator
ZOTO
Total budget
€ 588.236,00
Amount of subsidy
€ 500.000,00
Start date
01/03/2024
Project type
Dissemination and/or capacity building project

Would you like to know more about this project?

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Zoi Papalexandratou

Zoi Papalexandratou

Lead Cocoa Advisor ZOTO
zop@zoto.be