In 2016, Hershey’s and AgroEcom Ghana Ltd (AGL) – a subsidiary of Ecom Agroindustrial Corp (ECOM) and licensed buying company who supplies cocoa to Hershey’s – began work with the Tenure and Global Climate Change (TGCC) Program to gain a better understanding of how to address the complex challenge of deforestation around smallholder cocoa farming in Ghana. This work resulted in an assessment and recommendations for future work, captured in the report Land and Natural Resource Governance and Tenure for Enabling Sustainable Cocoa Cultivation in Ghana.
The report describes an interlinked set of interventions that encourage replanting old cocoa farms while reducing land use pressures on the forest fringe. Due to limited remaining time and funding in the TGCC project the full set of interventions could not be carried out in the current pilot. Following extensive discussions between USAID, TGCC and AGL, the team decided to implement a reduced set of activities that are achievable in a short time frame and will pilot ways to improve tenure security, productivity and reduce deforestation in the cocoa sector of Ghana.
The overall goal of the pilot is to collaborate with AGL and Hershey’s to better understand and test the components of a model for public-private collaboration to help smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana increase tenure security, replant old cocoa farms, and reduce deforestation and degradation.
This goal will be achieved through five activities:
- Finalize site selection and complete an initial community assessment;
- Conduct legal education and establish a dispute resolution mechanism;
- Clarify and document rights to land and trees for a community of cocoa farmers;
- Support AGL’s cocoa replanting pilot through development of a financial model and training-oftrainer technical assistance; and,
- Capture learning, results and outreach.
The pilot will be implemented by Ghanaian consultants hired by Winrock International, a subcontractor under the TGCC Program. AGL will collaborate on field work on tenure by providing office space, vehicles, and logistical and staff support and be responsible for re-planting cocoa. Hershey’s has funded existing farm level demarcation and will fund additional farm level demarcation, as needed.