CGIAR Institutions Publish Paper on Deforestation Drivers and REDD+ in West Africa

8 April 2011: The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) have released a study that attributes deforestation in West Africa to low fertilizer use in farming cocoa, cassava and oil palm.

The study notes the importance of West Africa for cocoa production and the doubling of production over the last 25 years, which has occurred through clearing of forest areas. The study shows that farmers could have achieved the same production through intensified fertilizer use and agrochemicals.

The authors note that these approaches could be linked to discussions on REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation  in developing countries, as well as conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks) and that funds from REDD+ could be used to incentivize and promote agricultural intensification efforts leading to higher rural incomes, greater food security and avoided emissions.

IITA and CIFOR are members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [IITA Press Release]