Converging farmers' and scientists' perspectives on researchable constraints on organic cocoa production in Ghana: results of a diagnostic study

G.K. Ayenor, N.G. Röling, B. Padi, A. van Huis, D. Obeng-Ofori, P.B. Atengdem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A diagnostic study was conducted to identify the major constraints on organic cocoa production at Brong-Densuso and surrounding communities in the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar District, astern Region, Ghana. The study followed a technographic study that highlighted cocoa as a public crop requiring broad techno-social innovations. In the technographic study, problems identified included low yields, persistent pest management constraints and a low adoption rate of technologies developed by the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana. The diagnostic study adopted a Participatory Learning and Action Research approach to set up and implement fieldwork with relevant stakeholders leading to problem identification, prioritization, and collective design of an action plan (research agenda). Cocoa farmers within the study area are conscious of the environmental problems associated with the use of inorganic pesticides and the high cost of using them. Hence, they produce cocoa without applying any pesticides. Quite recently, however, their association with an organic marketing company led to a search for non-chemical pest and disease control measures and for ways to certify their cocoa beans as organic. A misconception as to what species of cocoa pests constitute `capsids¿ was settled between farmers and scientists using a cage experiment on capsid damage. The farmers became convinced that the Cocoa Mosquito (Helopeltis spp.) (Hemiptera: Miridae), which they had previously considered an important pest, was a capsid species that caused little or no damage to the beans inside the pods. After this clarification,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-284
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Volume52
Issue number3/4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • farming systems research
  • cocoa
  • plant pests
  • social research
  • resource-poor farmers
  • agricultural-research

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