Martin Kobby Grant, Zhang Yifeng, Robert Brenya, Bright Obuobi and Godfred Bempah
Agroforestry is a climate-smart strategy adopted in cocoa farms to help cocoa crops adapt to climate change, maintain biodiversity, and improve cocoa yield. Meanwhile, its sustainability is of major concern to farmers. This study brings to the fore the common and persistent factors that pose a threat to the sustainability of cocoa agroforestry, presented through a systematic literature review approach, and further discussed using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) model as the focal point. A number of serious limitations have been identified in the study as limiting the sustainability of cocoa agroforestry, including a lack of technical support for planting trees, an increase in pests and diseases, the intense competition for nutrients between shade trees and cocoa trees, weak land tenure policies, and numerous other factors. The eleven identified limitations were further categorized and analyzed under Environmental, Economic, and Social Limitations, and policy directions were drawn and discussed. Based on the findings of the study, Cocoa Agroforestry must not only support both cocoa production and forest conservation simultaneously but also satisfy all three Sustainable Development Goals. For Cocoa Agroforestry to become an agricultural practice that is sustainable, it must address the environmental limitations, economic limitations, and social limitations simultaneously.
Keywords: Cocoa; Agroforestry; Limitations; Sustainability; Shade-grown cocoa.