From full sun to shaded cocoa agroforestry systems: Rehabilitation of smallholder cocoa farms and forest ecosystems for enhanced conservation and sustainable use of forestry resources in the High Forest zone of Ghana - Internationale Climate Initiative (IKI)
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From full sun to shaded cocoa agroforestry systems: Rehabilitation of smallholder cocoa farms and forest ecosystems for enhanced conservation and sustainable use of forestry resources in the High Forest zone of Ghana

As of: September 2020

Objective and activities

The project supports conservation and sustainable use of forest ecosystems in the High Forest Zone (HFZ) of Ghana. It works with three cocoa companies, smallholder farmers and local authorities to rehabilitate degraded cocoa and forest ecosystems resulting from cocoa expansion, low productivity, food insecurity and inadequate forest governance. In order to guarantee deforestation-free supply chains in the cocoa sector, the project seeks to address drivers of deforestation. This will be achieved by implementing measures for the strategic planning and decision support system, financing and implementation of large-scale, ecologically sound and socially equitable restoration of smallholder cocoa agroforestry systems that ensure the use of native tree species and the involvement of local communities.

State of implementation/results

  • The projects seeks to empower smallholder cocoa farmers in the High Forest Zone of Ghana to practice climate-smart cocoa production in an integrated land-use system
  • Over 1,800 beneficiary farmers are adopting cocoa agroforestry systems using recommended shaded trees in 25 communities
  • Four community nurseries were established which produced over 2.4 million planting materials including cocoa seedlings, plantain suckers and indigenous tree species. Over 70% of beneficiary farmers are registered with either RA/UTZ or Fairtrade certification
  • The project has developed land use plans for 15 communities covering a total area of 29,000ha
  • The Ghana Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) donated 264 litres of foliar fertilizer and 24 litres of insecticides to farmers that have replanted their cocoa farms under the SCAF project. A total of 180 farmers benefited from the input distribution and also got training on the proper application of the fertilizers
  • A reserve encroachment remediation committee made up of 10 influential traditional leaders has been established to help address the high incidence of farm encroachment into Krokosua Hills forest reserve located in Juabeso district (adjacent Bia West district)
  • As part of efforts to enhance opportunities for access to finance to smallholder cocoa farmers, SNV has established a partnership with Solidaridad West Africa (SWA) in order to jointly establish and increase the number of village savings and loans associations in Juabeso-Bia landscape
  • The promulgation of district wide community resource management area (CREMA) byelaws was facilitated under the shaded cocoa agroforestry systems (SCAFS) project. The bylaws have now been gazetted in Ghana’s Local Government Bulletin which provide legal backing for two CREMAs established under SCAFS
  • The SCAFs project in partnership with Touton (a private partner) and technical support from Satelligence, a remote sensing and forest monitoring firm, have been able to accurately delineate cocoa from open forest, identify various shades of cocoa agroforest, detect deforestation associated with cocoa, and pin point illegal cocoa farms in forest reserves
  • Five private companies (two signed MoUs) have expressed interest in utilising land use/cover change maps developed under the project to monitor no-deforestation in their supply shed
  • SNV and Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) conducted field surveys to evaluate the early impacts and barriers to adoption of climate smart cocoa under the SCAFS project. Preliminary results indicate that some farmers are reluctant to adopt climate smart cocoa due to shortage of household labour, satisfaction with current yield rates and reluctance to forgo major source of income in the short term
  • The Partnership for forest (P4F) has approved a second phase of the Partnership for Productivity, Protection and Resilience in Cocoa Landscapes Phase (3PRCL_II) project co-implemented by SNV

Further Links

Project data


Implementing organisation:
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation - Ghana

Partner institution(s):
  • Forestry Commission - Ghana
  • Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana,Forestry Commission - Ghana

BMU grant:
2.993.356,00 €

01/2016  till  12/2020



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