African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Cocoa-agroforestry in Ghana: Practices, determinants and constraints faced by farmers

Mills Oliver
  • Mills Oliver
  • Ghana Institute of Horticulture, Kumasi, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
Sarfo Akoto
  • Sarfo Akoto
  • UENR, Department of Forest Science, UENR, Sunyani, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
Simon Abugre
  • Simon Abugre
  • UENR, Department of Forest Science, UENR, Sunyani, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 10 November 2023
  •  Accepted: 16 February 2024
  •  Published: 30 April 2024

Abstract

To address the growing global demand for cocoa, sustainable intensification of its production in Ghana, the second largest producer, is considered crucial. This paper analyzes practices, determinants and constraints of agroforestry among cocoa farmers in Ghana to provide insights into challenges and drivers for agroforestry adoption, which will guide the formulation and prioritization of tailored policies to address them. We obtained data from 900 cocoa farmers from Bia West and Bibiani-Ahwiaso districts in the Western North region and Asunafo North and Tano South districts in the Ahafo region. We employed Probit Regression analysis to assess factors influencing adoption of agroforestry practices among cocoa farmers. The results indicated an association between agroforestry practice and the variety of tree planted (χ2 = 81.71, P = 0.00), the type of planting (χ2 = 8.2, P = 0.00) and frequency of pruning per year (χ2 = 8.2, P = 0.00). The Probit Regression showed that at a significant level of 0.05, education (P = 0.04*), farming experience (P = 0.03), membership of farmer-based organization (P = 0.03), knowledge of climate change (P = 0.04), and received extension services on agroforestry (P = 0.03) were found to influence adoption of agroforestry practices by cocoa farmers. Our assessment of constraints revealed that the falling of trees, pests and diseases, trees competing with crops for water, excessive shade and trees competing with crops for nutrients were major constraints to cocoa farmers practicing agroforestry while lack of knowledge (ignorance), unavailability of tree seedling and fear of timber contractors are constraints to farmers not adopting agroforestry. This is an important finding as it re-emphasizes the importance of considering socioeconomic context in designing agroforestry and future evergreen agriculture technologies. We recommend collaboration between farmers and other stakeholders in the cocoa sector which focuses on educating farmers on the importance of shade trees, and by providing money and agro-inputs support to farmers as impetus for the adoption of cocoa agroforestry in Ghana.

Key words: Cocoa-agroforestry, climate change, adaptation, mitigation, agriculture.