Climate-Smart Cocoa Agroforestry Research in Ghana


Start date: 2 January, 2020 End date: 31 December, 2024 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 19-11-GHA Countries: Ghana Thematic areas: Agricultural production, Climate change, Lead institution: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana Partner institutions: Aarhus University (AU), Denmark University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Ghana Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Victor Rex Barnes Total grant: 11,719,990 DKK

Project summary

The cocoa industry is one of the main pillars of the economies of several countries providing livelihoods for over 50 million people. Climate change is currently the most important threat to cocoa production in Ghana. The result has been strong drying trends in the forested region of the country where cocoa is widely grown. The impact includes mortality of seedlings and matured trees, low yield, wildfires and short duration of harvest. Cocoa growth, development and yield largely depend on temperature and rainfall and different varieties respond differently to these environmental factors. As a result, many farmer livelihoods are at risk and there is the need to reverse this trend. Ghana National Climate Change Policy (2013) and COCOBOD seek to achieve climate-resilient cocoa sector but development of specific strategies for climate-resilient cocoa agroforestry remains inadequate. This study will assess the climate-smartness of existing cocoa varieties, organic and inorganic fertilizers and shade trees and farmers’ perspectives on social resilient cocoa agroforestry to enhance sustainable yield, income and livelihoods of famers and improve climate change mitigation and adaptation in cocoa landscapes in Ghana. Cocoa knowledge and Information System will also be established to enhance farmers’ access to climate-smart cocoa information. The project will use on-farm and tree level studies in addition to participatory appraisal of farmers’ perspectives for data collection. The research will ensure the sustenance of farmers’ livelihoods and income (SDG 1&8- Good jobs and economic growth), timely climate adaption and mitigation (SDG 13), and create partnerships between public and private as well as between Ghana and Denmark. It will be implemented by a consortium from KNUST, Ghana and Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen, Denmark in collaboration with Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana and small-holder cocoa farmers.


Midterm report
Status of objectives, outputs and PhDs

Literature reviews and study methodologies under objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4 completed.
Under objective 1,and 3, automatic weather monitors, sap flow sensors, data loggers, dendrometers, field-office internet network system and litter traps have been installed in plots of selected cocoa farms in the two districts. Preparation for procurement of climate-controlled greenhouse for research on innovative vegetative propagation technologies completed. Data collection, 50% completed; Data analyses, 30% completed.

Under objective 2, equipment and treatment set-up have been completed. Laboratory of Department of Agroforestry renovated and refurbished for plant and soil analyses. Data collection on dynamics of properties as well as greenhouse gas emissions from different inorganic and organic fertilizer treatments, 50% completed. Data analyses 40% completed.

Data collection under objective 4, 100% completed. Data analyses 40% completed.

Identification of farmers to be involved COKIS under objective 5 completed. Preparations for COKIS design and establishment 30 % completed.

Under objective 6, 2 PhD students and 2 MPhil students have completed their coursework and field research and are expected to graduate by December, 2023. The remaining 3 PhD students have completed coursework and 50% of data collection. They are expected to complete the remaining field research and theses and possibly graduate by August 2024.

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