Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) cultivation in Côte d'Ivoire faces many constraints and remains one of the main causes of deforestation. However, cocoa-based agroforestry and the domestication of cocoa companion trees would be an alternative to overcome these constraints. This study was conducted to improve the sustainability of cocoa production through its association with "Bitéi" (Beilschmiedia mannii) in the localities of Duekoué, Guéyo and Buyo in Côte d'Ivoire. The Bitéi x cocoa interaction was analyzed through the dendrometric parameters of the B. mannii trees and the density and potential yield of cocoa in each transect of 10 and 20 m. The results indicate that the dendrometric parameters (height, crown diameter, and DBH) of Bitéi in the three localities did not show significant differences. Bitéi had an average aboveground biomass of 443 t/ha. Analysis of the interaction between Bitéi and cocoa showed that this species would have influenced the aboveground biomass, density, crown diameter and yield potential of the cocoa trees. Based on the results obtained, it is suggested that farmers consider a distance of about 5 m between cocoa and B. mannii when establishing cocoa farms, and to use this species to densify the farms in cocoa-based agroforests.
Key words: Beilschmiedia mannii, dendrometric and agromorphological parameters, cocoa agroforests.
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