Ghana Resources: Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG)

Under the Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program, a five-year global mechanism (2018-2023), USAID worked with private sector partners on two activities to strengthen the cocoa economy in Ghana. 

  1. Deforestation activity: ILRG worked with Hershey and ECOM Agroindustrial Corp., a global commodity exporter, to support cocoa communities to clarify and document their land rights. The activity aimed to reduce deforestation and rehabilitate old and diseased farms to improve cocoa production in the country, creating a pathway to improved economic growth and resilience. Many cocoa farmers in Ghana rent their land, which impacts their ability to replant and rehabilitate aging cocoa trees. ILRG worked with owners and renters to formalize rental agreements and provide a process for farmers to rehabilitate their plots. The activity also worked with Hershey to develop a payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme to incentivize the planting and upkeep of shade trees, which helped increase cocoa tree productivity and contributed to national conservation goals. Resources produced under this activity include research and reflections on the state of land and tree tenure laws in Ghana and what reforms might allow for better outcomes for farmers and renters alike.
  2. Women’s Economic Empowerment Activity: ILRG also worked with ECOM to better integrate gender equality and social inclusion considerations into the company’s internal policies and into their external engagement processes with cocoa farmers. ILRG trained all ECOM management and field staff on gender equality and women’s empowerment and helped adapt ECOM’s training programs to help shift harmful gender norms that constrain women’s access to and control of resources. ECOM established village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) for women in cocoa communities and supported them to engage in alternative livelihood activities to diversify their income streams. Resources produced under this activity include training manuals on women’s economic empowerment and gender norms, as well as reflections on the experience of working with the private sector on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Resources Produced under the Deforestation Activity:

Resources Produced under the Women’s Economic Empowerment Activity: