Eco-friendly cocoa farming will help boost livelihoods and secure supply chains

Year of Publication 2018
Type of Publication Impact Story


Cocoa production is a pillar of Ghana’s economy and of rural livelihoods, but it is at risk from forest degradation and climate change. An Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) project has identified eco-friendly farming methods that could play a role in securing the crop’s future.

Key messages of this ESPA Impacts Story are:

• Ghana’s cocoa yields are at risk from both forest loss and from the impacts of climate change.

• Private cocoa companies, the smallholder farmers from whom companies purchase cocoa beans, and the Government of Ghana all have an interest in protecting and enhancing yields of the lucrative cocoa crop.

• The ESPA ECOLIMITS project has identified eco-friendly practices and key management variables that have the potential to boost cocoa yields.

• Improved cocoa yields help address some – but not all – aspects of rural poverty.

• Farming methods alone will not address the security of cocoa farmers and the ecological health of Ghana’s cocoa forests. Policy changes at national level are needed for Ghanaian cocoa farming to reach its potential for economic, social and environmental sustainability.