While cocoa has provided a critical source of revenue for smallholder farmers and governments in West Africa, cocoa growing communities have also suffered from years of predatory market practices, declining commodity prices, and unfair terms of trade.
These perverse market dynamics – coupled with things such as conflicting agriculture and forestry policies, onerous land and tree tenure laws that penalize farmers, and low productivity by poor farm management practices – have contributed to severe problems in the cocoa sector.
Scientists have rediscovered rare wild coffee species in West Africa with tolerance to high temperatures and fine taste, potentially setting the region on course to staging a comeback in the global coffee industry, a study says.
The rediscovery of ‘lost’ Coffea stenophylla in Sierra Leone after years of searching, the scientists say, could be a game changer in an industry currently dominated by Coffee arabica species, which faces threats from climate change. C. arabica is popular because of its superior taste but, not only does C. stenophylla has an equivalent taste, it can also grow in harsher temperatures.