More than half of the world’s cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) grows in unsustainable monocultures in Ghana and Ivory Coast that were established by deforestation, which contributed to greenhouse gas emissions and the deterioration of environmental health. While agroforestry systems (AFS) are expected to help solve this complex crisis, different approaches to cocoa agroforestry (CAF) vary in both their feasibility for local producers, as well as their potential to mitigate and adapt to climate change and restore environmental health.
The main objective of this project is to assess different cocoa AFS in Ghana and Ivory Coast in this respect. Using previously established pairwise plot-scale comparisons of dynamic agroforestry systems (DAFS) and farmers’ practices, we will assess the different production systems (e.g. C sequestration, soil health, soil moisture, biodiversity, productivity, etc.). Combined with an analysis of farmers’ knowledge and perception of, as well as major challenges with DAFS, we aim to identify best practices in cocoa – shade tree associations and CAF management. By using a feasible innovation platform ap-proach, we aim to have social feasibility to maximize both climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the restoration of environmental health. Our goal is to develop a guide for model AFS that can be applied in different biophysical and socio-economic contexts in West African cocoa landscapes.