The West Africa Forest Farm Interface (WAFFI) Project

Facilitating engagement and building local capacity to improve gender equity and smallholder food security
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre and Tree Aid and supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is leading the West Africa Forest-Farm Interface Project (WAFFI). The project aims to identify practices and policy actions that will improve the income and food security of rural smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso and Ghana through integrated forest/tree management systems that are environmentally sound and socially equitable. In this way, it will contribute to the sustainable management of natural resource assets, poverty alleviation, gender equity and the support of sustainable livelihoods.


Key messages:
  • WAFFI built the capacity of rural women and men to proactively participate in policy dialogue and knowledge-sharing processes.
  • WAFFI improved understanding of farmer management of multi-use landscapes that combine agriculture, forestry, livestock and natural resource management.
  • WAFFI facilitated social learning to draw on local knowledge, to ensure research relevance and to validate scientific findings.
  • WAFFI applied a gender-responsive approach to all activities in Burkina Faso and Ghana to ensure that women were major participants and beneficiaries.
The forest-farm interface is a mosaic landscape of integrated management and production practices that combines agricultural, forest and livestock land uses. The interface is not a discrete line separating farms and forests but is a complex geographic and temporal mosaic of agricultural and forest land uses shifting across landscapes typically used by smallholders.
Outputs and impacts
Knowledge and capacity enhancement
The project’s multidisciplinary teams collaborated with farmer experts and practitioners to facilitate social learning, knowledge sharing and capacity enhancement through farmer-to-farmer exchange.

Strategies and approaches to support smallholders
The project team facilitated multi-stakeholder discussion platforms with policy makers, practitioners and farmers to define strategies, approaches and actions that will effectively support the livelihoods of smallholders managing the forest-farm interface for improved income, food security and equitable benefits.

Evidence-based pro smallholder policies
Engaging policy makers at national, regional and local levels through the forest-farm interface framework improved understanding of integrated smallholder systems and support policy programs and governance institutions that aim to strengthen smallholder livelihoods. The improved understanding of integrated smallholder systems by policy makers at national, regional and local levels is catalyzing the development of enabling policy frameworks and programs that will strengthen smallholder livelihoods and governance institutions.

Media Contacts

We encourage media to contact our scientists and experts directly with interview requests or questions about the topic.

Peter Cronkleton
Senior Scientist
Houria Djoudi
Senior Scientist
Mathurin Zida

Supported by