Organisation: Werkmaatschappij Agro Eco B.V.

Cycle: 2018 International

Type: Climate adaptation

Sector: Land use

Status: Shortlisted

Stage: Pilot ready 


Requested input: The proposal is to start with 10.000 farmers/20.000 hectares. In the Bia-Juabeso, Ghana, area there is space for 5 times this investment, also when other cocoa traders join with their farmer supplier groups. Cooperation with the World Cocoa Foundation’s CSC Program will assist in learning lessons and associating with other private companies. The area around Kakum National Park would be a next target location. One can also target areas that need to be rehabilitated-reforested for water supply.

Timber in Cocoa Agroforestry is about growing timber trees as shade trees on cocoa farms in Ghana. It is a way of reforestation and introducing profitable Climate Smart Cocoa to reduce emissions from deforestation. The potential of shade trees leads to diversifying the incomes of farmer, to produce legal timber and to sequester carbon. There is growing consensus that cocoa should be grown under shade. Farmers are hesitant to plant shade trees. In the past they were not the owners of the trees. Logging caused damage to the cocoa which was poorly compensated. Since recently it is possible to register the farmer as the owner of the trees. In Ghana, the timber industry is in decline as forest reserves are depleted and plantations are few. Most of the indigenous hardwoods do not grow well in mono-culture on marginal lands. The industry has to secure future supplies but does not know how.

This proposal shows the potential of shade trees to further diversify the income of the farmer, to produce legal timber, to sequester carbon. It is an add-on to a recently started REDD+ project that is introducing profitable Climate Smart Cocoa to reduce emissions from deforestation. The investment is latched onto the largest initiative in that landscape, the Partnership for Productivity Protection and Resilience in Cocoa Landscapes (3PRCL). 3PRCL is part financed by the Ghana Cocoa-Forest Redd+ Programme (GCFRP), in its turn financed by the World Bank Carbon Fund. The main promoter is the French cocoa company Touton SA. Other initiatives from other cocoa buying companies will be engaged to achieve good coverage and complementarity under a grant from Partnerships 4 Forests (P4F). The Climate Smart Cocoa is partly financed through the certification premium. CA4T needs the CSC farmer base as the springboard. The CSC project is seen as co-finance.

The investment contributes to robust, climate resilient cocoa landscapes where farming families have decent livelihoods and the timber industry is supplied with African hardwood logs. The investment is made with groups of farmers who are part of a sustainability scheme, as this brings farmer organisation, farmer training/coaching, data collection and often certification. This is a good springboard for the shade tree and other interventions (farm diversification, cocoa rehabilitation) resulting in better farming and livelihoods, and monitoring of the farmers. There are sufficient service providers in the region to implement the activities from both the cocoa and the timber industry. The finance of P4F is managed by Palladium, a consultancy in impact investment and governance, ready to assist in additional investment. Entire areas of cocoa farms are shaded by a mix of timber trees of varying age, becoming climate resilient cocoa agroforestry landscapes with robust, permanent cocoa farms where farmers have a diversified income, the timber industry sources its logs, and deforestation has stopped.