Full Sun to Shaded Cocoa Agro-forestry Systems (SCAFS)

This project is completed

Ghana’s High Forest Zone constitutes a major cocoa production area, however most cocoa farms have ageing trees with declining yields, and are highly vulnerable to climate related shocks such as drought. With limited access to land farmers often encroach upon protected forest areas to raise cocoa and food crops, increasing deforestation and CO2 emissions. To reverse this trend, SNV is working with farmers and businesses to introduce climate-smart farming practices, and cocoa traceability and siting systems that increase quality yields whilst managing sustainable farm expansion and reducing deforestation.

Many cocoa farmers have limited capacity to manage and adapt to challenges that negatively impact crop yields, and they are also faced with a lack of planned approaches to effectively rehabilitate and rejuvenate ageing cocoa farms. These issues increase the likelihood that farmers will expand cocoa production into protected forest areas. This project aims to improve cocoa yields and secure farmer livelihoods without encouraging expansion, and in turn reduce emissions from deforestation in protected and off-reserve areas, and ensure biodiversity conservation and enhanced carbon stocks.

SNV are addressing these challenges in several complementary ways:

  • Increasing farmer access to extension support services to promote crop intensification;
  • Introducing improved cocoa agroforestry systems through the phased rehabilitation of old and unproductive cocoa trees and the incorporation of shade trees;
  • Piloting a multi-stakeholder integrated land use planning system to facilitate the siting of sustainable cocoa expansion;
  • Introducing a deforestation traceability system at farm level, to better monitor and promote deforestation-free cocoa supply chains in the High Forest Zone;
  • Implementing SNV's deforestation-free supply chains toolkit across the forest-cocoa landscape to monitor and promote sustainable cocoa production.

The project aims for a more balanced approach to cocoa production and forest protection, while supporting cocoa businesses to implement transparent deforestation-free supply chains in Ghana. The adoption of these practices will also help to address wider social issues such as food insecurity and sustainable incomes for local communities.

The project area covers selected areas of forest-cocoa mosaic landscapes in the western part of Bia National Park and Bia North Forest Reserve in the Bia West District of Western region of Ghana.

Key Outcomes:

  1. Improved cocoa agroforestry model introduced through rehabilitation of overaged farms targeting 2000 smallholders and covering an area of 4000 hectares in 15 communities.
  2. Functional multi-stakeholder land use planning system established and operational in project communities.
  3. Traceability system established to trace cocoa beans to farm level and also monitor no deforestation in supply chains among three private cocoa companies and smallholder cocoa farmers.

This project is being implemented in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board, the Forestry Commission Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana and Bia West District Assembly, and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) over a period of three years (2016 – 2018).

What's new?

Key facts



Promote intensification


Support replanting of aging trees and created shaded agro-forestry


Create deforestation-free value chains

Our results

have prepared their plot for rehabilitation
Capacity to raise
cocoa seedlings
Rased and distributed
shade trees
plaintain suckers

Our experts

Donors & Partners

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