Land and Tree Tenure Innovations for Financing Smallholder Cocoa Rehabilitation in Ghana

Published in: Annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference

Expansion of cocoa farming is the primary driver of deforestation in Ghana’s high forest zone. Ghana is the world’s second largest cocoa producer and cocoa provides significant benefits: improved livelihoods and social welfare, family and corporate income, and foreign exchange earnings growth. However, cocoa yields and production are declining due to old and diseased trees, an elderly cocoa farming population, high cost of cocoa farm rehabilitation, lack of finance and knowledge of agroforestry systems, and land and tree tenure constraints that act as a barrier to tree replanting. USAID partnered with cocoa buying company (ECOM) and chocolate brand (Hershey’s) to pilot an approach to increase land and tree tenure insecurity via rights documentation, resolve disputes via ADR, finance cocoa farm replanting, and strengthen community and land resource governance via community advocacy. This paper outlines the pilot’s approach, discusses achievements and shortcomings, and concludes with implications for scaling up and sustainability.

Key Words: cocoa, finance, Ghana, smallholder, tenure.