Monday, 26 August 2013

Case Study: CSSVD Dead Cocoa Trees Replanting and Farmer

Dead Cocoa Trees

During the survey of 90 cocoa farmers in Asamankese district of Eastern Ghana, we learned that every farmer has some dead cocoa trees in his/her farm. On average number of reported dead trees were 300, ranging from couple of dozen up to 3600 trees. 

If we assume that each of 800 000 or so cocoa farmer in Ghana has on average 300 dead trees, it means 240 000 000 dead cocoa trees in total, which do not produce. If we convert these trees into hectares, assuming 1100 trees per 1ha, we will get abt. 218 000 hectares being unproductive and wasted. If we multiply the number of hectares by average productivity of 470kg/ha we will see that abt. 102 000 tons are not being produced for this reason only in Ghana alone. 

Who is doing what?

Cocoa farmers themselves said that they are cutting dead trees and replanting with new plant material but not everyone said so. We noticed that farmers who have more dead trees are more likely to be stuck in indecision due to various reasons such as: ''I have more than 1000 dead trees and wild vegetation has covered them and I need to pay a lot to labour to clear weeds and bushes even before reaching dead trees and I do not have enough money to pay them''

On the other side, Ghana's government subsides CSSVD a dead tree cutting and replanting and provides monetary compensation to affected farmers. The compensation seems to be quite attractive: 553 GHC (276,5US$)  for each Swollen Shoot Affected one hectare and additional 1290 GHC (645US$) for each newly planted one hectare.

However, many farmers still do not actively seek this program and typical answer is: ''if i go there alone, I will not be given attention''. Then they give some examples how they themselves or their neighbours applied for this service but did not get the service. 

What did we do?

Because it was a great opportunity to check how these things work in reality, we decided to take one of the surveyed farmers and visit CSSVD local office and see and hear everything ourselves.

Following 7 videos show each step we had to take for this ''case study'': observing farmer's orchard, visiting office and talking to officers, hearing the story of the other side. It was particularly interesting to see discussion between CSSVD officers and the farmer about obstacles. 

We were told that currently CSSVD program is suspended but will probably renew later this year. We were also told that our particular farmer should visit another CSSVD branch where we had also gone. In the second office they told our farmer that CSSVD program was suspended and renewed in previous year as well. Such suspensions and renewals of course does not contribute to positive perception among farmers.

CSSVD and Cocoa Farmer: Part 1

CSSVD and Cocoa Farmer: Part 2

CSSVD and Cocoa Farmer: Part 3

CSSVD and Cocoa Farmer: Part 4

CSSVD and Cocoa Farmer: Part 5

CSSVD and Cocoa Farmer: Part 6

CSSVD and Cocoa Farmer: Part 7

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