Farmer knowledge on biodiversity conservation by shade trees in cocoa farms of Western-North Ghana

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Research Paper 01/09/2020
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Farmer knowledge on biodiversity conservation by shade trees in cocoa farms of Western-North Ghana

Abraham Yelley, Alexander Baffour Afrifa, James Agyei-Ohemeng, Dennis Owusu
J. Bio. Env. Sci.17( 3), 41-49, September 2020.
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This paper sought to examine farmers’ knowledge about how shade trees conserve biodiversity in cocoa farms in 5 randomly selected communities in the Bia-West District in the Western-North region of Ghana. A total of 65 active cocoa farmers with outstanding experience and practice in cocoa cultivation were interviewed using open-ended questions during key informant interviews and Focused Group Discussions to collect detailed knowledge on how shade trees conserve biodiversity in cocoa farms. The findings show that farmers are knowledgeable regarding how shade trees conserve biodiversity in cocoa farms. Provision of habitat and safety, food, temperature and humidity control as well as soil protection were the main knowledge held by farmers on how shade trees conserve biodiversity. However biodiversity conserved by shade trees are either desirable or undesirable based on whether the species conserved can served as food or non-food; wild nor non-wild; and favorable or unfavorable for cocoa production. Among others, it is recommended that farmer education on benefits of shade tree cultivation in cocoa farms should start with and incorporate farmers’ knowledge as this can stimulate farmer interest in such education activities.


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