Cocoa agroforestry in Ghana
Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa (Theobroma cacao) in the world, with livelihoods of approximately 800’000 farmer families partly depending on the crop. However, the sustainability of the cocoa production systems is challenged, mainly because of aging plantations, declining soil fertility, increased prevalence of pests and diseases, and climate change. These threats have resulted in yields stagnating at low levels and reduced cocoa quality in the last few decades. Since Ghana is not the only major producing country facing such issues, there are concerns about the ability of cocoa production to meet growing global demand for chocolate, and a severe shortage of high quality cocoa beans on the global market is expected by the year 2020.
Our research in Ghana addresses the major threats to the production of higher quality cocoa with a view to developing evidence-based, sustainable solutions that should benefit both cocoa producers and chocolate consumers.
Family name: Blaser
First name(s): Wilma
Designation: Post-doctoral fellow
Institute name/place of work: ETH Zurich
Family name: Yeboah
First name(s): Edward
Designation: Senior Research Scientist & Head, Soil Microbiology Division
Institute name/place of work: CSIR-Soil Research Institute, Kwadaso, Kumasi Ghana