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Aims: Agroforestry is globally acknowledged as an essential component of climate-smart agriculture. Nevertheless, agroforestry adoption is low, and research is lacking on how farmers perceive the climate-related benefits of agroforestry and the implications of such perceptions on adoption. This paper assessed farmer perspectives on the effectiveness of agroforestry in enhancing the climate resilience of cocoa, and the extent to which such perceptions (in conjunction with socioeconomic factors) influence farmers’ decision to adopt cocoa agroforestry or otherwise.
Study Design: A cross-sectional survey design involving households practicing different cocoa landuse systems (agroforestry vs. full-sun monoculture) was used.
Methodology: Data were collected using structured questionnaire administered to 240 randomly selected cocoa-farming household heads.
Place and Duration of Study: The study took place in 12 rural communities in the Forest-Savannah Transition Zone of Ghana from March to September 2017.
Results: Findings indicated that while farmers unanimously acknowledged the effectiveness of cocoa agroforestry in enhancing resilience to excessive dry season temperatures, their perceptions in terms of resilience to drought differed, and were largely shaped by the kind of shade trees integrated. Overall, the majority of household heads perceived agroforestry to be the most beneficial strategy for enhancing the climate resilience of farmers. This perception significantly influenced households’ decision to adopt cocoa agroforestry, in conjunction with socioeconomic factors such as social network, sex of the household head, sex distribution of the household, and off-farm income.
Conclusion: Social network and farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of agroforestry in enhancing climate resilience are the key determinants of cocoa agroforestry adoption in the FSTZ of Ghana. Farmers who perceive agroforestry to be the most beneficial climate-resilient strategy in agriculture are more likely to adopt cocoa agroforestry. Social network can be used to enhance cocoa agroforestry adoption by serving as an effective communication channel for spreading information about the climate-related benefits of shade trees among farmers.
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