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Sustainable cocoa production in West Africa: development of a farmer-participatory integrated crop management programme

Funders

Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance (BCCCA), Global IPM Facility

Partners

Ghana National IPM Programme, Cocoa Research Institute Ghana (CRIG)

Project Description


Farmers discussing constraints to cocoa production in Ghana

Problem/Issue. Pests and diseases continue to place important constraints on cocoa production in Ghana and other West African countries. Effective management methods are known for some pests and diseases, but many are not effectively implemented by farmers. The Ghanaian National Programme for farmer participatory training and research (CABI Bioscience FPTR page) was initially focused on rice, vegetables, plantains and other food crops.


West Africa cocoa IPM workshop November 2001, Cotonou, Benin

However, existing structures and commitment to the farmer participatory approach can greatly facilitate its extension into cocoa. The restructuring of cocoa production in Ghana and the incorporation of cocoa extension into national agricultural extension also provide further opportunities for bringing a farmer participatory approach to training and research in cocoa cropping systems as a whole.



Project Activities.
A pilot project document was formulated together with the Ghana National IPM Programme and CRIG, and partial funding has been secured. CABI Bioscience conducted an exploratory survey of main cocoa producing areas using the participatory rural appraisal (PRA) approach. A synthesis of on-going and recent studies on intensifying existing cocoa production in Ghana was undertaken to support the survey. IPM training will be supported by other activities addressing socio-economic problems such as low cocoa prices, limited access to credit, alternative sources of income, etc. CABI Bioscience continues to support the project in its next phase through technical and methodological support for training of trainers (ToT) and farmer field school (FFS) activities, including the organisation of workshops for curriculum development and the validation of training exercises for extension staff and farmers in Ghana.

The pilot project is expected to start soon, with the training of master trainers. In the implementation phase of the pilot, CABI Bioscience anticipates being able to play a technical support role.

Achievements So Far

The survey identified a number of technical and socio-economic constraints to cocoa production in Ghana, including some major pest and disease related problems. There are many crop and pest management strategies widely known in Ghana, but these are often not adopted by farmers for a variety of reasons, including low cocoa prices, lack of access to credit and other priorities. These findings have created awareness of the need for additional extension activities, including working more closely with farmer organisations, and promoting farmer-led extension. The proceedings of the West African cocoa IPM workshop, November 2001, are available here.

What Next

Based on the outcome of this project, new national and/or regional implementation projects may be formulated on cocoa farmer training.

Janny Vos (Co-ordinator) j.vos@cabi.org

Start date: June 1999

End date: November 2000

 
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Contact CABI Commodities:
CABI Commodities Coffee Co-ordinator - Dr. Peter Baker - p.baker@cabi.org
CABI Commodities Cocoa Co-ordinator - Dr. J. Flood - j.flood@cabi.org
CABI Commodities Project Administrator - cabi-commodities@cabi.org