Climate Smart Cocoa Production in Changing Rural Ecosystem and Livelihood in Ghana

Auteur David AMUZU
Directeur /trice Prof Christian Kull
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse

Cocoa Sector in Ghana is major agro-industry dominated by about 800,000 smallholder farmers who are desirous by default to increase cocoa yields and income for their complete wellbeing. These rural farmers are also motivated by the increasing global demand to produce more by adopting expansionist production systems leading to deforestation and degradation. Linked to this is their vulnerability to the rising impacts of climate change which potentially contribute to their declining cocoa yields. To face this dilemma is the propagation of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) approaches (by government institutions, corporate organisations in the cocoa sector) where farmers are encouraged to deploy innovative practices to achieve the tripple-win of increasing cocoa outputs, better resilience and reduce greenhouse emission. CSA inherently established on environmental deterministic ideals of developing technical solutions to the impacts of the climate which is apolitical in nature (Taylor, 2017), has been branded as a new agriculture transformation for development. However, we cannot doubt the socio-political dimension of such agrarian change-(with effects on ecosystem, food security and wellbeing). It is based on this early assumption which prompt the aim of this research to examine how production practices adopted by rural cocoa farmers framed within the CSA translate to the improvement of wellbeing and changes in the ecosystem. In the process of finding solution to this conundrum, the research seeks to ask (1) What CSA practices are adopted by the cocoa farmers, and how they are facilitated? (2 ) What are the impediments (barrier) and how do they affect the adoption of CSA innovations/practices (3) What are the impacts of power dynamics and interests on forest, food security and well-being? By relying on qualitative methods, the research therefore employs the perspectives of Political ecology to answer questions about governance, access, injustice, food (in)security, wellbeing and ecosystem modifications. These will help to uncover not only tensions between productivity, resilience and mitigation as fundamental pillars of CSA in the cocoa sector but also questions about their conceptual meanings which the proponents of CSA ignore.

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