Coconut farmers and lethal yellowing disease: a case study in two villages in Ghana's central region

Ollivier Jean, Courbet Philippe, Democrite Richard. 2015. Coconut farmers and lethal yellowing disease: a case study in two villages in Ghana's central region. In : Economics and ecology of diversification: the case of tropical tree crops. Ruf François (ed.), Schroth Götz (ed.). Dordrecht : Springer-Ed. Quae, pp. 87-101. ISBN 978-94-017-7293-8

Book chapter
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Abstract : The population of the coastal zone of Ghana gradually adopted the coconut as a commercial crop in the twentieth century. Thanks to its adaptability to the environment and its many social benefits, the 'tree of a hundred uses' has become the main crop of this area. Unfortunately, in the 1970s, the lethal yellowing disease of coconut (LYDC) spreads westwards from Cape Three Points. The disease's impact on production and income of thousands of farmers has been disastrous. What are the strategies adopted by farmers to cope with LYDC? While emigration provided one solution, diversification was another. Proximity to palm oil and cocoa markets and the rubber project were decisive in this choice of tree crop diversification. At the same time, attempts to plant coconut in areas far removed from areas where the disease was concentrated or had broken out were observed. The history of coconut cultivation in Ghana therefore confirms the theoretical premise of this book. At the end of the first life cycle of a particular perennial crop in a region, the region tends to diversify due to ecological and social necessity. At the same time, the crop "shifts", following its adoption in new regions, to a virgin or at least disease-free environment. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Cocos nucifera, production, Arbre à buts multiples, Maladie des plantes, Production forestière, Diversification, Elaeis guineensis, Theobroma cacao, agroécologie, Agroécosystème, Maladie bactérienne

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Ghana

Mots-clés complémentaires : Maladie du jaunissement mortel

Classification Agris : H20 - Plant diseases
E90 - Agrarian structure
E10 - Agricultural economics and policies

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Ollivier Jean, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR Systèmes de pérennes (FRA)
  • Courbet Philippe, Nestle Research and Development Centre Abidjan (CIV)
  • Democrite Richard, Chambre d'agriculture de la Guadeloupe (GLP)

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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