COMPARATIVE EVOLUTION OF SOILS UNDER COCOA TREES IN MONOCULTURE AND ASSOCIATION OF FOREST TREES IN THE FOREST-SAVANNAH TRANSITION ZONE OF CÔTE D’IVOIRE
For sustainable soil management in cocoa farming in marginal areas such as the forest-savanna transition zone of southern center of Côte d'Ivoire, an agro-pedological characterization study of cocoa plantations was carried out, in the cocoa exploitations of Agricultural Society of Bandama (SAB), in M'Brimbo locality. It covered various cocoa cropping systems, mainly monoculture and association of forest trees to cocoa plantation, with differents densities, and their impacts on soil potential fertility. The observations of soil was done through soil pits and laboratory analyzes on soil samples taken. The results showed that the cocoa culture systems under the associated trees' shading, have improved the soil organic matter content and the balance between mineral elements. However, only the densities of associated trees providing a medium and high shading, lead to a content of organic matter higher than the minimum threshold in cocoa culture. But, the higher densities of associated trees, providing a higher shading, have a limiting factor in cation exchange capacity of soil. So, The cocoa farm system associating trees, according to a density providing a medium shading, has, therefore, been identified as the most viable for sustainable soil management in cocoa growing systems.
Keywords: cocoa farming, medium shading, sustainable soil management, forest-savanna transition, Côte d'Ivoire.
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