Abouasso, East of Côte d'Ivoire

Soumaila Sanou

Nurseryman and cocoa farmer
Abouasso, Eastern Côte d'Ivoire

Soumaila Sanou, cocoa farmer in the Eastern Region of Côte d’Ivoire, says “since 2016, we have felt a change in the climate“. He knows that this is due in part to deforestation, which causes global warming. Soumaila Sanou is aware that the drought spells experienced by his community in Eastern Côte d’Ivoire are due to past bad practices. He became a nurseryman in 2019 to meet this challenge.

On his nursery, Soumaila Sanou grows 100,000 to 150,000 seedlings from 18 different tree species. On a video, he can be seen pointing to his mahogany, kola and avocado trees. He knows what is necessary to grow each plant thanks to the training he has received. “It’s an activity that I really enjoy,” he says.

Soumaila Sanou’s plants are bought by farmers to develop cocoa agroforestry. Shade from forest trees is essential to ensure the good development of cocoa, but also to preserve biodiversity and carbon absorption. This is a key strategy as part of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to combat deforestation in West Africa.

The nurseryman is aware of his positive impact on the environment, but his activity also allows an increase in his income “This year alone, I sold 48,000 plants“, he concludes.