Trouble in the Land of Cocoa

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Next, the seeds are placed in the sun to dry for several more days. After drying, they are gathered, placed into bags and taken to collection offices. From there, they are shipped around the world to be processed into end products. Cocoa farms are generally small, family owned and operated businesses. There are approximately 4.

They are especially found in the Tropical rainforest areas. Farms' cocoa crop outputs struggle to match the increasing demand for chocolate. It is estimated that the demand for chocolate will increase twofold by the year Some farmers have shifted their crops out of the shade and into direct sunlight.

Cacao trees with no shade tend to accumulate more weeds [9] as well as be more susceptible to diseases such as Witches Broom and Frosty Pod Rot. Excessive spraying of pesticides can also cause the weeds and insects to build up a resistance which will eventually create more harm to the crops. Cocoa farming also contributes to rainforest and old growth forest deforestation. Nutrients begin to leach out of the soil due to poor irrigation and inadequate soil protection , [8] which can increase the erosion of the soil. All of these processes stress the Cacao trees and result in lower yields, [12] giving the opposite effect to what the farmers expect from these practices.

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Some of the forests in Ghana and other Cocoa producing countries have been declared protected by the government after observing the Tropical Rainforest destruction. However, with a shortage of fresh land to plant Cacao trees, some farmers are beginning to illegally cut down parts of these protected forests. The report accused the companies of endangering the forest habitats of chimpanzees, elephants and the many other wildlife populations by purchasing cocoa linked to deforestation. Through groups and programs such as the World Cocoa Foundation , Rainforest Alliance , Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy, and activities of regional NGOs like Conservation Alliance, IITA and Solidaridad cocoa farming can return to its sustainable roots through education programs and help in finding ecologically and economically sound resources to further their farming.

As a last resort, some programs will help farmers to access pest control products such as biocides as an alternative to the harmful pesticides being used.

An Award-Winning Partnership in Ghana Strengthens Land Tenure and the Global Cocoa Supply

Other programs promote proper irrigation, composting , suitable soil management , and intercropping , meaning planting other trees and fruit crops in the surrounding land of the Cacao trees. Cacao pods evolved to grow in the shade of a highly biodiverse rainforest canopy. It has been suggested that Cocoa farmers go back to the original and natural ways of farming, by planting within the natural tree-cover and without cutting down existing trees. Planting trees, especially fruit filled trees around and within the plantation , helps with growth of Cacao plants.

Additionally, planting cacao under taller trees protects the more fragile cacao from direct sunlight, which greatly increases the length of its productivity and makes the cacao tree less vulnerable to disease. Another benefit of such companion planting is the increase in potential habitats for birds and insects. However, simplifying such shade-cover may threaten biodiversity. Afaan Oromoo voaafaanoromoo. Bambara voabambara.

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Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter. Share via Email. Print this page. Ama Serwah was growing crops to feed her family, but the land she leased was cleared, leaving her wondering how she will support them, in Asikesu, Ghana.

Related Stories. A Sweet Deal? Chocolate drink or bar is a luxury which is unaffordable.

PAWSA @ COCOA 2019

A farmer retorted: do not come empty handed to interview cocoa farmers for data for your thesis or other research work. At least, you could come with a bar of chocolate to encourage us. I do not remember the last time I ate chocolate. The same may apply to branded chocolate drinks in Ghana. In a family of six, when asked how many times you feed your family in a day, the father—a cocoa farmer—said: we eat three times in a day.

The reminder of that food is used for breakfast first meal in the day and lunch second meal in the day. Sometime, I ask my wife to prepare fufu and soup for the family as first meal in the day. Fruits were not a usual part of their meal. The farmer said: fruits do not do well in my cocoa farm and that avocado pear, citrus and mango disturb the cocoa trees. Sometimes, I get banana from my backyard garden.

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Cocoa trade, climate change and deforestation | neiloarisoto.ga | Chatham House

Another issue is the unequal power relationship amongst the cocoa people as often shown in the functions of the various stakeholders. Cocoa farmers are to produce and supply dry cocoa beans. Although all the cocoa people revolve around the dry cocoa beans, COCOBOD by the nature of its functions weld considerable power than any other stakeholder. Normally, cocoa year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. Hence, farmer incentives are determined by these factors rather than what farmers rightly deserve. COCOBOD uses forward contract and by so doing transfer price and exchange rate risks from cocoa buyers to farmers [ 19 , 21 ].

The trend line displays increases in purchases. The implication is that cocoa production is increasing as well as the availability of dry cocoa beans for purchase in Ghana.


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Table 3 presents information in a passbook of a farmer with his express permission. The income is spent as it comes. Often, the dry cocoa beans are sold to cater for immediate family expenditure. The farmer intimated that no amount of income is left to be plucked back to improve the cocoa farm. Also, it is evident that price changes did not happen often. He has completed the school but I could not afford the fees at the university.

He has moved to Accra to look for work. Another concern on cocoa profit is the issue of illegal cocoa trade. Presently, illegal cocoa trade is discouraged by the higher Ghanaian price than that of the two neighbouring countries. The only problem is that sometimes the purchased cocoa in Ghana does not come with immediate cash returns farmers are not paid promptly, after weighing the beans. In such situations, farmers who are in dire need of money release their cocoa beans at the lower price to the illegal cocoa buyers because of prompt payment. The discussion is organised along conservation of cocoa, deep ecology of cocoa, political economy of cocoa and sustainability of cocoa as summarised in the equations, respectively.