Assessing the Potential Benefits and Challenges of Cocoa Agroforestry Adoption in Ghana’s Western-North Region

  •  Clement Baidoo    
  •  Bob Offei Manteaw    
  •  Yaw Agyeman Boafo    


This study explores the potential benefits and challenges of cocoa agroforestry adoption in five Theobroma cacao-growing communities in Ghana’s Western-north region. Cocoa agroforestry is a farming practice that combines cocoa cultivation with tree planting. It is an essential approach to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce forest loss, and alleviate poverty; however, its adoption is not widespread within Ghanaian farming communities. The study used a mixed-method approach, including a semi-structured questionnaire (n = 150), interviews, and focus group discussions to gather data. The results of the study suggest that farmers’ willingness to integrate tree species on their cocoa farms is not significantly influenced by factors such as gender, age, level of education, or land ownership. Terminalia superba, Khaya spp., and Milicia excelsa were the more common non-cocoa trees found, and farmers demonstrated good knowledge and understanding of cocoa agroforestry. The main motivation for farmers to plant trees was to build climate resilience, supplement their income, improve food security, and restore degraded lands. However, the main barriers to adopting cocoa agroforestry, as identified by farmers, were a lack of financial support, high transportation costs for seedlings, and insufficient technical support and awareness. The study recommends that farmers raise cocoa seedlings on their farms and receive incentives such as cash, inputs, and a pension scheme to encourage greater adoption of cocoa agroforestry as a REDD+ strategy at Ghana’s cocoa-growing communities.

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