Climate variability, Deforestation and Cocoa Production shifts in Ghana. A threat or a source of innovation? [88]

Ruf François. 2017. Climate variability, Deforestation and Cocoa Production shifts in Ghana. A threat or a source of innovation? [88]. In : Proceedings of the International Symposium on cocoa research. ICCO. Lima : ICCO, 13 p. International Symposium on Cocoa Research – ISCR 2017 : Promoting Advances in Research to Enhance the Profitability of Cocoa Farming. 1, Lima, Pérou, 13 November 2017/17 November 2017.

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Abstract : In the former Gold Coast, cocoa was introduced in the late 19th century in the eastern, sub-humid part of the country. Then cocoa area expanded with a massive influx of migrants, moving into the western regions. The two main motivations of migration are clearly the thirst of land as a patrimony and the thirst of forest to get a successful and rapid growing of cocoa. Nevertheless, as the western region is wetter, to what extent the climatic east-west gradient was a driving factor of the shifting cocoa frontier? The objective is to clarify this interaction between climate change, markets, public policies regarding migration and cocoa production on the other. The questions are answered through the analysis of severe droughts that occurred at the regional West-African level in the early 1970s, mostly felt in the Sahelian regions, and in 1982/83 which also severely hit the forest/cocoa regions of Ghana (and Côte d'Ivoire). The methodological principle is to combine rainfall data, elements of public policies, national and regional production statistics and social-economic surveys at village levels, giving insights of farmers' strategies at different periods. The Sahelian drought in the early 1970s did not trigger migrations from Sahel to Ghana due to the Aliens Compliance Order in 1969, highly unfavorable to foreign migrants. The 1982/83 drought hit Ghana itself and clearly accelerated migration around 1983-85. Besides migration, the 1982/83 also played a role in replanting, followed by various innovations in replanting. The place which was liberated by fire was eventually taken over by a younger generation to replant cocoa or diversify towards rubber and oil palm. In coherence with the Boserupian principles, ecological change can lead to technical innovations, but also lead to renewed institutional arrangements such as the abunu contract. Both technical and social innovations played a role in the revival of the Ghanaian cocoa production and at the same time in diversification.

Mots-clés libres : Burkina Faso, Migration network, Rainfall, Drought, Herbicides, Replanting, Abunu contract

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