Climate Smart Cocoa Systems for Ghana (CLIMCOCOA) Project Holds Inception Workshop

Dr. Kwadwo Owusu (standing) and the team of researchers in discussions

A team of researchers led by Dr. Kwadwo Owusu of the Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana have held an inception workshop for the start of the CLIMCOCOA project. The project will be executed with a DKK 9.99 million grant from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).  Other team members from University of Ghana are Prof. Alex Asiedu and Prof. George Owusu both of the Department of Geography and Resource Development. Institutional partners on the project include the University of Copenhagen, Roskilde University, World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

The CLIMCOCOA project aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the impact of

climate change on the socio-biophysical basis of cocoa systems in Ghana, and assess the role

of agroforestry as a model for climate and carbon smart agriculture. The team of researchers held the Inception Workshop recently at the Ghana-Korea Information Access Centre at the Balme Library of the University of Ghana.

The Dean of School of Social Sciences, Prof. Charity Sylvia Akotia, who made opening remarks at the workshop, expressed how pleased she was that this research will contribute to knowledge and help the future development of the cocoa industry in a changing climate.

Prof. Charity Sylvia Akotia giving the opening remarks

The Inception Workshop discussed the work packages of the project which included the use of a multidisciplinary approach to assess the biophysical limitations and options for cocoa cultivation under climate change, and to analyze the institutional arrangements and socio-economic factors that favour or limit adoption of innovative management options by farmers.

The work packages are summarized below:

·         To estimate the effects of climate change and variability including extreme climatic events on cocoa yield and quality under business as usual; and to identify the specific factors through which weather influences yields.

·         To use on-farm data on yield to analyze the potential for agroforestry to ameliorate cocoa yield under high temperatures and drought.

·         To conduct a series of experiments to test the influence of decreasing rainfall regime and increasing length of the dry season. 

·         To take into account farmers’ perspectives on and practices in relation to climatic

change and investigate the socio-economic and institutional factors influencing cocoa farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change and adopt innovative cultivation practices.

·         To conduct a range of household surveys and semi-structured interviews to study cocoa

farmers’ experience with and reactions to climatic variability and extremes and more broadly their long term strategies as conditions for cocoa cultivation are changing.


·         Capacity building component of the CLLIMCOCOA project includes the education of 3 PhD students and 1 post-doctoral training., Various forms of media and publication outlets including training manuals, policy briefs, and journal articles will be used to specifically target farmers and their organizations, government officials and other researchers. In addition, a dedicated website will be developed to disseminate the core findings.

The team also made a field trip to some cocoa farms in the Eastern Region.


A group photograph of the CLIMCOCOA team at the inception workshop