Tropenbos DR Congo built capacity among local farmers women and youth in particular to improve their income through cocoa-based agroforestry systems, while preventing deforestation.
They supported communities with formalizing collective land titles covering 90,000 hectares, offering tenure security needed to invest in agroforestry on lands that were previously deforested.
They enabled farmers to organize themselves in 20 producer associations and established contacts with financial institutions to increase access to credit for agroforestry.
They learned that it is crucial for any NGO working with communities to critically reflect on how. the land-use practices they promote relate to local preferences, needs and customs.
It is critical to combine support for agroforestry with developing value chains for deforestationfree produce, and investments in land-use planning, monitoring and enforcement, to ensure that agroforestry expansion does not take place at the expense of natural forests