Tai Simonne, 53, is responsible for the Women's Association in Zaipobly, in the SouthWest of Côte d'Ivoire.

This association includes 60 members from all the communities in Tai’s village. It was formed three years ago when Tai, and others, were struggling to sell the tree seedlings from their nursery business.

During a field visit in 2020, the ofi team discovered the forest tree nursery and were delighted to see women involved in forest tree production. Using our wider network, we were able to order and buy forest trees produced by the women association and distribute them to our cooperative partners.

In 2021, the Women’s Association produced 81,400 forest trees seedlings for 18 of ofi’s farming cooperative partners. This initiative provided the women with their own income and gave them the opportunity to support their husbands with contributions towards school fees and other household expenses.

Forest trees are also beneficial to cocoa farms, as they encourage forest regeneration, therefore cocoa farmers received training on incorporating trees into their farms.

Tai says: “In 2022, we are producing more than one million forest tree seedlings for ofi cooperatives and other partners such as SODEFOR. And with the right help from ofi, like a modern irrigation system, this could increase to five million seedlings per year in the future.”

This story comes from one of our programs in Côte d’Ivoire to support cocoa smallholders with sustainable production and improved livelihoods that are tracked on AtSource. Read more about our commitments and the progress we made in 2021.