The Kuapa Kokoo cooperative was created in 1993 after the liberalization of the Ghanaian cocoa market. The cooperative’s slogan is “Pa Pa PAA” which means “a better quality”. The Kuapa Kokoo cooperative was born from the producers’ desire to create their own structure that would represent them. Created by and for small-scale producers, it seeks to enhance the development of the local community. It has now nearly 45 000 members.
Part of the producers produce their cocoa in organic agriculture and following the principles of fair trade, but at this stage agroforestry is not very developed. Agroforestry was a very common cultivation method traditionally used in Ghana, but the increasing pressure on the lands led many farmers to suppress the trees on their lands to plant cocoa trees, in single-crop farming. Through this practice, on a large amount of vegetation is still destroyed though and biodiversity is being lost, which leads to the gradual decrease of productivity if chemical fertilizers are not used.
Some groups of producers decided to develop agroforestry systems adapted to their cocoa plantations. The aim is to recreate and maintain soils fertility. Indeed, while meeting producers’ needs, agroforestry systems make it possible to avoid the exhaustion of fragile soils. This project will eventually enable to improve durably the productivity of cocoa trees, improve the quality of water and rebuild the biodiversity of sites.
Moreover, the land scarcity means that many producers, and even more in mountainous areas, own very small parcels. Therefore, agroforestry appears to be a good option as it provides many useful products, even on a limited area.
- Develop better practices for cacao culture, centered around the agroforestry and the reconstruction of a favorable environment to cacao culture by the implantation of local trees.
- Recreate and maintain the fertility of the grounds.
- Create exchange value for producers and buyers of cacao : rise the efficiency in cacao for farmers, diversify their income on the long term via the sale of some trees and improve the quality of the cocoa.