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: March 2021
Deforestation, caused by the expansion of plantations, low productivity, food insecurity and an unregulated forestry sector, is a real threat to Ghana’s High Forest Zone. This project is therefore funding the retention and sustainable use of forest resources in the Ghanaian High Forest Zone. By working with cocoa businesses, smallholders and the local authorities, the project aims to rehabilitate degraded smallholder farms and forest ecosystems. The project also helps companies establish deforestation-free supply chains. Strategic planning programmes are also being implemented, and a system for land use planning is being developed that will enable local authorities to achieve a better balance between cocoa farm expansion and forest conservation. The project is also working on measures to achieve the widespread, ecologically intact and community-focused rehabilitation of smallholder-centric agroforestry systems (using native tree species).
State of implementation/results
- 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 29,000 hectares.
- 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 project. A total of 180 farmers benefited from the input distribution and got training on the proper application of the fertilizers.
- A reserve encroachment remediation committee made up of ten 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 for 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 project. The bylaws have now been gazetted in Ghana’s Local Government Bulletin, which provide legal backing for two CREMAs established under the project.
- The project in partnership with Touton (a private partner) and technical support from Satelligence, a remote sensing and forest monitoring firm, have been able to delineate cocoa from open forest, identify various shades of cocoa agroforest, detect deforestation associated with cocoa, and locate illegal cocoa farms in forest reserves.
- Five private companies have expressed interest in utilising land use/cover change maps developed under the project to monitor no-deforestation in their supply chain.
- SNV and the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) conducted field surveys to evaluate the early impacts and barriers to adoption of climate smart cocoa.
- A review of National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) needs has been conducted and detailed requirements for the development of a web portal for Ghana’s NFMS has been developed. The Partnership for Forests (P4F) programme and the Forestry Commission are prospecting a service provider for the development of this web portal. The project is expected to contribute to the development of aspects of this web portal.
- A total of 432 farmers benefitted from the cocoa hybrid seedlings and permanent shade trees raised, to plant an area of 626 hectares. All these farms have been mapped and basic farmer profile information compiled.
- Further, a total of 958 farms rehabilitated in 2017/18 cropping season were inspected.