A policy that grants farmers ownership of tree trees on cocoa farms in Ghana can help increase yield and curb deforestation,
according to government officials and the industry group.
Trees grow naturally on many cocoa farms, providing a shadow for a subtle culture. But they belong to the state, and not to farmers, according to the laws of forestry in West Africa.
Companies pay government fees for logging, while cocoa farmers lose their profits, because their crops are often damaged in the process and become less productive in full sunlight.
But the little-known provision in the law on forestry allows farmers to register ownership of trees that they planted themselves.
Although this is not new, it has never been tested before this year as part of a pilot project supported by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) in the Amenfi-West area.
"We train farmers about their rights. They did not know that it was possible, "said Alex Twainboa-Codna, forest commission manager in the capital of Asankragua district.
The project helped 150 farmers register ownership of timber on their farms. WCF stated that it aims to spread practices throughout Ghana, which is the second largest cocoa producer in the world after Côte d'Ivoire.