Cocoa reforestation in Sierra Leone

Cocoa is one of the most important cash crops in Sierra Leone and many cocoa plantations were once established by clearing rainforest, using the traditional slash-and-burn method. As cocoa is becoming increasingly important as an export crop in Sierra Leone, farmers continue to clear plots of rainforest to establish new plantations. Studies show that deforestation is rapidly encroaching upon the Gola National Forest protected area.

Over the past years, Tradin Organic successfully established the first organic certified cocoa project in Sierra Leone. The organic certification provides farmers access to a premium market, which means that they receive better prices for their cocoa. Although this better price is making a positive impact for local farmers, it may also provide an incentive for clearing additional parts of the forest for establishing new cocoa plantations.

Specific insights are lacking that can serve as a basis for a sustainable monitoring- and mitigation strategy. In addition, additional research is necessary to understand the influence of socio-economic factors on deforestation in cocoa in order to shape replanting efforts.

This replanting effort will not focus on cocoa trees, but rather on a mix of shade trees, economic trees and possibly other cash crops. This focus on replanting trees (that are not cocoa trees) is supposed to boost soil carbon sequestration, biodiversity, farm productivity and income diversification.


Project summary

Project number:
Total budget:
€ 475,000
Sierra Leone
Project status:
Budget spent:
90.00 %
Tied status:
Project partners:
Pur Projet, Green Africa SL, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Tradin Organic Agriculture B.V., Tradin Sierra Leone Ltd., Navitas Organics
Industrial crops/export crops