Home / Research projects / ARF Projects / ARF-2.3 Introducing non-timber forest products in reforestation schemes & tree-crop farms in Ghana (TREEFARMS)

Introducing non-timber forest products in reforestation schemes & tree-crop farms in Ghana (TREEFARMS)

ARF-2.3 Treefarms Ghana - Cross-farm visit black pepper and grain-of-paradise farmers1
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Duration: 20 January 2016 – 19 January 2019

Project information

Aim: Employing a gender-sensitive and stepwise collaborative learning approach, this project aims to integrate nutritious shade-tolerant non-timber forest products (NTFPs) (black pepper, grains of paradise and honey) in Ghana’s modified taungya (reforestation) system and off-reserve tree farms. The project aims to enhance food and income security for these farmers after canopy closure by examining and building capacity on how three previously introduced shade-tolerant non-timber forest products can be successfully harvested, processed and marketed.
The proposed duration allows integrating research and capacity development through the entire NTFP cycle (seedling production, cultivation/honey production, processing and marketing) and before project closure, all collaborative learning stages (inception/taking stock, joint implementation/co-creation of knowledge, dissemination/enhancing uptake) to be dealt with.

Objective: The overall objective of this project is to enhance food and income security of MTS farmers and tree farmers in off-reserve areas after canopy closure. Specific objective is to generate knowledge and build capacity that enables the integration and production of shade-tolerant NTFPs (black pepper, grains of paradise and honey) in on- and off-reserve tree farms and their successful processing and marketing.

Method: The project is organized in eight work packages (WPs); six addressing research questions and associated capacity building/collaborative learning; one for capacity building of MSc students affiliated to the partner organizations; and one for overall project coordination.
The project involves farmers, practitioners, policymakers, NGOs and value-chain actors in a stepwise collaborative learning approach including inception, joint implementation, and dissemination. Built on knowledge gaps identified by farmers and practitioners, this proposal contributes to the broader debate on landscape approaches that aim to integrally address food insecurity, deforestation, environmental degradation, and climate change.

Country: Ghana.

Dutch policy goals: Increased sustainable agricultural production; and More efficient markets.

Progress reports

Year 1: Benefits of Ghana’s gender-sensitive reforestation scheme that combines trees and food crops, the Modified Taungya System (MTS), are reduced after canopy closure. Farmers then lose interest in the scheme as food crops can no longer be grown. With a view to enhancing farmers’ food and income security, research and capacity building focuses on how three previously introduced shade-tolerant non-timber forest products can be successfully harvested, processed and marketed. The project involves farmers, practitioners, policymakers, NGOs and value-chain actors in a stepwise collaborative learning approach including inception, joint implementation, and dissemination. Built on knowledge gaps identified by farmers and practitioners, the project contributes to the broader debate on landscape approaches that aim to integrally address food insecurity, deforestation, environmental degradation, and climate change. Deliverables include insights into opportunities for improved production, processing and marketing and how continual learning can be institutionalised in farmer groups, communities of practice, and learning platforms.

Year 2: Benefits of Ghana’s gender-sensitive reforestation scheme, the Modified Taungya System (MTS), which combines trees and food crops are reduced after canopy closure. Farmers then lose interest in the scheme as food crops can no longer be grown. With a view to enhancing farmers’ food and income security, the project focuses on how three previously introduced shade-tolerant non-timber forest products (NTFPs)1 can be successfully harvested, processed and marketed. The project involves farmers, practitioners, policymakers, NGOs and value-chain actors in a stepwise knowledge co-creation approach including inception, joint implementation, and dissemination. Preliminary research results indicate that survival rate, growth, and yields of NTFPs vary much depend on the tree species used in the forest plantation or tree farm. Knowledge co-creation activities (multi-level learning platform, community of practice and cross-farm visits) have exposed farmers to potential local and regional markets for the NTFPs and building capacity in NTFP production and entrepreneurial skills.

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