Cocoa farmers’ awareness of pollination and its implication for pollinator-friendly practices

Author(s): K.Frimpong-Anin, P.K.Kwapong, I.Gordon

Scarcity of information on farmers’ knowledge on pollination and pollinator conservation prompted a survey of farmers’ and agricultural extension officers’ awareness of pollination and possible impact of farmpractices on cocoa pollination. The survey was carried out in three cocoa growing areas in Ghana, using structured questionnaires. Cocoa farmers were unaware of cocoa pollinators and their ecology and thus have not intentionally developed pollinator management practices, although some of their practices were pollinator-friendly. All the extension officers had good understanding of pollination but its importance was downplayed, and they did not know the identity of cocoa pollinators. Eighty-eight percent of the farmerswere unaware of the concept of pollination in general, and 100%did not knowthe identity of cocoa pollinators. Both farmers and extension officers were also oblivious of the importance of cocoa pod husks as the predominant breeding substrates for cocoa-pollinatingmidges. It is concluded that cocoa farmers’ knowledge of pollination is very poor, and educating farmers on pollination as an agricultural input will not only benefit cocoa but other pollinator-dependent crop cultivated by cocoa farmers.

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