Climate-Smart Cocoa Agroforestry Research in Ghana


Start date: 2 January, 2020 End date: 31 December, 2024 Project type: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (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.


First-year report:
Inaugural workshop involving project team and stakeholders: Ghana Cocoa Board, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, cocoa farmers, local authorities and media completed; Denmark partners joined the meeting through zoom. At the meeting, the stakeholders were sensitized about the project and engaged in collaborative relationship.
Research communities namely Abofour, Camp 37 and Koforidua in Offinso Municipality; Brofoyedru, Ayokoa and New Akrofuom in Adansi North selected; Farmers’ farm information study and suitable farms identification and selection completed; Plots in farmers’ farms for field experiments demarcated and marked for equipment installation; Genetic sampling and testing for cocoa varieties in study plots completed; 2 hybrid varieties and Amazonia variety identified;
Five shade tree species namely Terminalia superba, Terminalia ivorensis, Milicia excelsa, Morinda lucida and Persia americana identified.
Four PhD students enrolled at KNUST currently taking courses;PhD thesis proposal and literature review 60% completed.

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