Small scale farming is an important route out of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. However, some types of farming harm the natural services – soil quality, pest control, and pollination - they rely on. Can farming continue to expand and still stay within the limits of the environment? In Ghana, cocoa farming has improved rural livelihoods but likely already damaged ecosystems, whereas in Ethiopia coffee plantations have not. As well as defining the ecological limits in these two systems, this project will look at the key social processes, and the relationships of the environment with poverty and its alleviation.