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Transdisciplinary systems research to develop a holistic approach to reduce the spread and impact of cocoa swollen shoot virus disease in Ghana (TransdisCSSVD)

Andres, Christian; Gattinger, Andreas; Kwame Dzahini-Obiatey, Henry; Kwame Offei, Samuel and Six, Johan (2015) Transdisciplinary systems research to develop a holistic approach to reduce the spread and impact of cocoa swollen shoot virus disease in Ghana (TransdisCSSVD). Paper at: SAGUF conference 2015 - Participatory and Integrative Approaches in Researching African Environments – Opportunities, Challenges, Actualities in Natural and Social Sciences, University of Bern, 23rd October 2015. [Completed]

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Summary

West Africa is the world’s most important cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) growing region. The Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) is one of the major productivity limitations, particularly in Ghana. Some 800’000 farm families’ livelihoods depend on revenues from the crop in Ghana alone. The only measure to treat CSSVD is to cut out infected trees. The national eradication program, implemented by the Ghanaian government since 1946, has cut out more than 250 million trees until today. Despite these efforts, CSSVD is still prevalent in the field. Research has tried to contribute to CSSVD control through breeding for resistant varieties, as well as investigating the effects of barriers with immune crops and protection through a “vaccination” with the mild virus strain N1. Despite the promising nature of the results from these research activities, they have seen limited application in the field. Therefore, a shift in approaches is needed: farmers, extension agents and other relevant stakeholders need to be involved in planning and execution of future interventions from the very beginning of project life cycles.
We are starting a project called “TransdisCSSVD” in Ghana, which approaches disease control by capitalizing on the farmers’ perspective on CSSVD control in order to identify the main bottlenecks for implementation of available CSSVD control options. Furthermore, an in-depth study on diversification of cocoa production systems (e.g. agroforestry; fragmentation of landscapes by barriers of non-host crops, shrubs or trees; etc.) will fill an important knowledge gap with regard to CSSVD regulation. The expected results may provide crucial insights for policy makers about meaningful ways of adapting the existing CSSVD prevention and control program. For that purpose, transdisciplinary workshops with policymakers are planned. More dissemination activities such as farmer field days and exchange workshops aim at stimulating the implementation of research results on the ground.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Department of International Cooperation, Agroforestry systems, Cocoa, CSSVD, Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Africa
Research affiliation:Other countries
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil Sciences
Switzerland > ETHZ - Agrarwissenschaften
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International Cooperation
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/development/working-themes/agroforestry-systems.html
Deposited By: Andres, Christian
ID Code:30504
Deposited On:05 Sep 2016 10:23
Last Modified:05 Sep 2016 10:23
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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