Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) is the third highest export commodity of Ghana and represents the most important source of revenue for numerous small scale farmers. Climate change (CC) in the form of higher temperatures and reduced rainfall is expected to adversely affect cocoa productivity and reduce the area suitable for cocoa cultivation in Ghana, but the extent and underlying mechanisms are not well understood. The CLIMCOCOA project aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of CC on the socio-biophysical bases of cocoa systems in Ghana, and assess the role of agroforestry (AF) as a model for climate smart agriculture in Ghana. We will use a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the socio-biophysical limitations and options for cocoa cultivation under CC, and to assess institutional and socio-economic factors that favor or limit adoption by farmers of innovative management options. The project is structured in 7 work packages (WPs). WPs 1, 2 and 3 provide a comprehensive and novel understanding of cocoa production under current and future climates, using 3 different approaches. WP1 studies historical yield and climate data at country/district level, WP2 assesses cocoa yield using on-farm studies over a climate gradient, and WP3 studies cocoa tree ecophysiology. Based on studies of livelihood and farming strategies and institutional mapping, WPs 4 and 5 investigate the socioeconomic and institutional factors influencing cocoa farmers’ ability to adapt to CC and adopt AF practices. WP6 is dedicated to capacity building activities and dissemination of results through journal articles, policy briefs, training sessions of trainers, local stakeholder seminars, and a dedicated website, targeting farmers, Government officials and researchers. WP7 is management and coordination.
CLIMCOCOA will enhance farmers’ capacity to be more resilient to CC impacts on cocoa in Ghana, and build capacities of local researchers to be able to apply state of the art modelling tools to assess CC impact.
Midterm report 2018:
The three PhD students have done three years of their study and are expected to complete by July 2020. Together with the postdoc, they are currently undertaking field data collection.