Assessing the economic performance of cocoa agroforestry in Ghana

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October, 2015
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In Ghana cocoa occupies a key position in terms of foreign exchange earnings and domestic incomes, as well as being the major source of revenue for the provision of socio-economic infra-structure. Agroforestry is an important category of agriculture that provides potential benefit to farmers, communities and society at large with a wide array of forest-related goods and services. The main objective of the study was to assess the economic performance of cocoa agroforestry in Ghana. The analysis is expected to assess the relative attractiveness of the various shade levels to cocoa farmers as well as to the society. Research data were collected by the means of Focus Group Discussion, household structured interviews and in depth case study. Data were analyzed through quantitative economic methods and models. The results of the present research indicated that the medium and low shade levels were financially viable whiles high shade level and full sun plantation were not profitable. However, to the society cocoa agroforestry production had a positive impact on the overall welfare of the society irrespective of the shade level. There also exist some barriers to the adoption and the motivation of existing cocoa agroforestry system in Ghana, including, inadequate education on; the benefits derived from the inclusion of shade trees in cocoa plantations, which species to plant and how to plant them, tenure ship and logging as well as compensation for destroyed crops are possible threats to the realization of the full benefit of the cocoa agroforestry system.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Master of Philosophy Degree in Agricultural Economics