Appoco Farms Cocoa Agroforestry, Ghana
- DefinitionDevising project idea, defining the aim and main components
- DesignSpecifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
- Open to FinancingSearching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
- ImplementationExecution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
- MaintenanceOperational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
- Scaling UpScaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.
reNature and Appoco Farms develop an Agroforestry Model Farm to serve as a platform for capacity building and inspiration for the community of Adjoafua. Agroforestry systems within the cocoa sector are key to prevent these detrimental impacts and can enhance the resilience of local community livelihoods.
Despite the species richness in the region, the community suffers from high levels of poverty and lack of nutritious food due to land clearing for monocultural agricultural activities and illegal loggers that are causing deforestation.
The project could currently benefit 77 members of the Yesus Mo Cooperative (a local cocoa farmers association) and relative 350 family members. Potential to impact about 8,000 community members into the future.
Worried about the future of cocoa in the Bia West District
The Bia West District, where the community of Adjoafua is located, is one of the principal regions for the production of raw cocoa in Ghana, which, as a country, is the second largest producer of raw cocoa in the world. However, due to the uneven distribution of value across the supply chain, many of the cocoa farmers have been persuaded to sell their land to illegal mining operators, as this is seen as more economically viable than the sale of cocoa. This led to malnutrition, lower food security, environmental degradation, climate-related impacts, and reductions in cocoa production by around 45%.
Increasing community resilience and food security with regenerative agriculture
reNature will set up a Model Farm on a 2 ha plot within the community of Adjoafua. The Model Farm will serve as a platform for the community to learn about regenerative agriculture and have the opportunity to incorporate these practices into their plots. The design will incorporate not only cocoa, but other key crops and trees that can provide additional income to the local community, as well as food security and wood sources to curb deforestation.
The local community will be inspired by the Model Farm established by the project. It will serve as a proof of concept for agroforestry systems in cocoa, demonstrating the environmental benefits and economic viability of such a system. The system will also show the community that low inputs can lead to high economic return with low environmental costs. The project will initially engage and impact the Yesus Mo cooperative, which includes more than 2,000 farmers.
A fight against climate change and deforestation
The Adjoafua community has recently experienced an increasing number of extreme weather events, including forest fires, droughts, and increased levels of pests and diseases. This, along with the overuse of chemical inputs, has decreased soil health, which in turn has led to the lowest levels of productivity.
Bia West is also home to the Bia National Park and other forests known for its biodiversity and valuable resources such as timber, mahogany and medicinal plants. Despite living adjacent to the park, the community is facing high levels of deforestation due to illegal logging, mining, and forest fires. The Model Farm will demonstrate that an increase in biodiversity can have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment and help to address many of the major problems the community faces.
Fostering economic resilience and inclusive growth of farmers
The Adjoafua community faces high levels of poverty, despite being one of the main regions to produce food items for major cities in Ghana. Around 75% of young people have not attained any formal education making it difficult for them to access the job market. Unemployment among young people is high, as agriculture is seen as an unattractive career path. As a result, there are also high levels of migration to cities. The establishment of the Model Farm will provide proof that a sustainable income can be made from agriculture, by incorporating several different crops to increase resilience to economic and climate shocks.
Agriculture is the principal occupation of the people of Adjoafua, with 93% of the population engaging in this sector, producing mainly cocoa, cassava, rice, and maize. For cocoa farmers, income from their produce is time bound to the crop season between October and April, meaning that poverty levels are high throughout the rest of the year. By introducing several different crops into a diversified system, farmers will receive higher, stable prices for their produce as they can access markets with premiums based on sustainable practices. The inclusion of multiple crops in an agroforestry system would create multiple different income streams for farmers. This would increase not only food security, but also the economic resilience of the farmers, who would be less exposed.