Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation
Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution.
Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), private sector agribusiness like Syngenta, Bayer and OCP, Rabobank and the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They are united in one firm belief: that agriculture holds the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential – 41 million smallholders on a fertile continent that grows every crop imaginable.