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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Diminishing returns and agricultural involution in Côte d'Ivoire's cocoa sector
Author:Odijie, Ehis Michael
Year:2016
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy (ISSN 0305-6244)
Volume:43
Issue:149
Pages:504-517
Language:English
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Subjects:deforestation
cocoa
agricultural production
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2015.1085381
Abstract:The relationship between cocoa farming and deforestation has been documented extensively in environmental studies, but never in studies of political economy. Forest is a production factor in the cocoa industry. Once forestland has been exhausted in a given geographical region, planters tend to migrate into vacant forestland in another region; this accounts for the regional and geographical shifts in cocoa production described in several conservationist studies. Cocoa-producing countries have been shown to move through cycles of boom and bust, combined with constant geographical shifts in cultivation. Every cocoa-producing unit has a structural or ecological ceiling determined by the supply of forest. Once this ceiling has been reached, it is difficult to produce more cocoa because of the absence of virgin forest. Therefore, once forestland has been exhausted, cocoa producers experience a decline in living standards due to rising cost factors and decreasing returns. This briefing shows that Côte d'Ivoire has reached the point of forest exhaustion and that the problem with the sector, which has necessitated several reforms, is related to the end of tropical forest. The forestland that fuelled the production of cocoa in post-independent Côte d'Ivoire has been exhausted. Bibliogr., note. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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