Philippe Vaast

Senior Coffee & Cocoa Agroforestry Scientist

With a PhD degree in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis, USA, Philippe has a long-working experience on coffee and cocoa issues, particularly production, quality and ecosystem services throughout Africa and Central America, as well as in India, Indonesia and China. His research combines agronomical, ecological, and economic approaches with the aim of developing integrated management practices for the benefits of rural communities while enhancing the provision of environmental services in coffee & cocoa-dominated landscapes. Current work focuses on the quantification of 1) farmers’ local knowledge on tree species and agroforestry to develop decision tool for tree selection in the local context, 2) role of shade trees in buffering climate change for the development of climate-smart practices, 4) effects of shade trees on soil fertility and carbon sequestration for the improvement of sustainable agricultural production, and 5) modeling complementarity for water, light and nutrients between coffee/cocoa and shade trees for the development of sustainable agricultural systems.

Philippe enjoys supervising research works of graduate students (over 15 PhD students and 25 MSc students). He is an associated editor of the international journal “Agroforestry Systems” and board member of ASIC (Association for Science and Information on Coffee).

To get away from his busy professional schedule, Philippe loves to travel with family and friends, to play all kind of racket games (Tennis, Badminton and Ping Pong), to walk in forests and natural landscapes and to do snorkeling in tropical seas. 

Recent Publications

Ortiz-Gonzalo, D., Vaast, P., Oelofse, M., De Neergaard, A., Albrecht, A., Rosenstock, T.S. 2017. Farm-scale greenhouse gas balances, hotspots and uncertainties in smallholder crop-livestock systems in Central Kenya. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 248, 58­70. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2017.06.002

G Gram, P Vaast, J van der Wolf, L Jassogne. 2017. Local tree knowledge can fast-track agroforestry recommendations for coffee smallholders along a climate gradient in Mount Elgon, Uganda. Agroforestry Systems. 1-17.

Graefe S., Meyer-Sand L.F., Chauvette K., Abdulai I., Jassogne L., Vaast P., Asare R.. 2017. Evaluating farmers' knowledge of shade trees in different cocoa agro-ecological zones in Ghana. Human Ecology : 12 p.

Charbonnier, F; Roupsard, O; Le Maire, G; Guillemot, J; Casanoves, F; Lacointe, A; Vaast, P; Allinne, C; Audebert, L; Cambou, A. 2017. Increased Light‐Use Efficiency Sustains Net Primary Productivity of Shaded Coffee Plants In Agroforestry System. Plant, Cell & Environment. http://DOI:10.1111/pce.12964

Van der wolf, J., Jassogne, L., Gram, G. and Vaast, P. 2016. Turning local knowledge on agroforestry into an online decision-support tool for tree selection in smallholders’ farms. Experimental Agriculture, pp. 1–17.

Boreux V., Vaast P., Madappa L., Cheppudira K., Garcia C.A., Ghazoul J.. 2016. Agroforestry coffee production increased by native shade trees, irrigation, and liming. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 36-42 (9 p.).

Vaast P., Harmand J.M., Rapidel B., Jagoret P., Deheuvels O.. 2016. Coffee and cocoa production in agroforestry - a climate-smart agriculture model. In : Torquebiau Emmanuel (ed.), Manley David (trad.), Cowan Paul (trad.). Climate change and agriculture worldwide. Heibelberg : Springer, p. 197-208.


BREEDCAFS, is an ongoing project (2017-2021) financed by EU, focusing on selecting Arabica coffee hybrids for agroforestry systems and promoting sustainable, climate-smart practices in Arabica producing countries of Nicaragua, Cameroon and Vietnam.  In Vietnam, Breedcafs will concentrate its effort in the North-West Province by initiating experimental and farms trials with promising Arabica coffee material associated tree species adapted to the local context and tailored to farmers’ needs.

CLIMCOCOA is an ongoing project (2016-2020) on adaptation of cocoa systems to climate change in Ghana, financed by Danida and coordinated by University of Lagon, Accra and University of Copenhagen. CLIMCOCOA project aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change on cocoa production systems in Ghana and assess the role of agroforestry as a model for climate smart agriculture. CLIMCOCOA will build up capacities of local researchers to apply state of the art modelling tools to assess climate change impacts and propose innovations to enhance resilience of cocoa farms to climate change.

CAFNET is a completed project (2007-2011). CAFNET aimed at linking sustainable management and environmental benefits of coffee agroforests with appropriate remuneration for producers through better access to markets. It operated Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Guatemala), East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) and India (Karnataka).