ACCRA, (Xinhua) --
New agronomic methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in
cocoa-growing will also enable Ghana to nearly double cocoa
yields in eight years, stakeholders in a national cocoa
rehabilitation program have said.
The Ghana Cocoa
Board (COCOBOD), in collaboration with the Forestry Commission
and with support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), has been implementing a shift from
mono-cropping toward agro-forestry plantation-based practice.
chief executive officer of the Forestry Commission, said on
Thursday that the practice involved the planting of shade trees
on cocoa farms.
Unlike in the past,
when farmers extended the acreage of their cocoa farms annually
in pursuit of more yield, “now scientific research has proven
that even in a small one-acre farm you could even harvest more
cocoa fruits than having five acres or six acres, provided you
have the tree shades covering them,” he said.
according to him, is in line with government efforts to reverse
deforestation, which has partly been caused by farming, and to
prevent the adverse effects of climate change.
“So farmers have now
bought into this idea and the experiment that we have done is
yielding dividends,” he added.
said, is expected to result in higher yields and higher incomes
for cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Under a new
rehabilitation program, the yield per hectare will move from 450
kg to close to 800 kg to render more income to farmers.
Ghana, the second
largest cocoa producer globally after Cote d’Ivoire, produced
over 950,000 metric tons of cocoa during the 2017/2018 crop
year. Output is expected to maintain at the same level during
the 2018/2019 crop year.
“Because we are
going to be able to move from 450 kilos per hectare to about an
average of 800 kilos per hectare, we can generate more value for
the whole sector, which is going to be about 1.5 billion dollars
annually, in about eight years,” said Louis Bockel, policy
support officer at the FAO.