Profitability and competitiveness of cocoa agroforestry systems in Ghana

Authors: Sylvester Boadi*, University of Ghana, Aske Skovmand Bosselmann, University of Copenhagen, Richard Asare, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Mette Fog Olwig, Roskilde University, Kwadwo Owusu, University of Ghana
Topics: Sustainability Science, Economic Geography
Keywords: shaded cocoa systems, costs-benefits, climate change adaptation, smallholder farming, Ghana
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 6:25 AM / 7:40 AM
Room: Virtual 14
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) cultivation in Ghana is dominated by smallholder farming households most of whom derive the greater percentage of their incomes from the crop. Changes in climate in addition to inherent boom-and-bust cycles associated with cash cropping reduces the yielding capacity of these farms and, by extension, household incomes. Current research suggests that the integration of trees (timber and fruit trees) into cocoa farms has the potential to increase the resilience of these farms to climate change, pest and disease infestation and offer more stable yields and incomes. However, there are few studies with scientifically proven socio-economic models comparing the profitability of cocoa agroforestry (CAFS) farms to full sun (FS) cocoa. In this study, we employ the policy analysis matrix (PAM) model to compare the financial and economic profitability of CAFS and FS cocoa farms in Ghana. Data was collected through household surveys in 400 cocoa farming households in 12 communities in Ahafo, Ashanti, Western North and Western regions of Ghana for a normal and a drought year. The paper shows that CAFS farms with fruit trees are more profitable and more competitive than FS cocoa across three zones in the cocoa area, the “transform, adjust and cope” zones. Also, CAFS farms are most profitable in drought years in the transform and cope zones. We therefore argue that tree integration should be encouraged especially in cocoa growing areas where climate conditions are already dry or projected to become dry as it increases the profitability and competitiveness of cocoa farms.

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