Users of the newly developed biodiversity database can expect to gain key insight into the biodiversity status of cocoa farms in 10 districts across 5 cocoa producing regions of Ghana.


Data from cocoa farm surveys can return spatial information like this
Data from Armajaro's cocoa farm surveys, processed with their data analysis system, produces maps like this, among other outputs.


As a result of a collaborative work of Armajaro Trading Ltd., Bioversity International and GeoTraceability Ltd staff and in close consultation with FORIG and other cocoa stakeholders information on biodiversity status of 10,000 Ghanaian cocoa farms have been collected and compiled into a dynamic database.


The database makes it possible for Armajaro and partners (The database is not yet publicly available, but Armajaro is happy to share the datasets with interested researchers or institutions, under certain confidentiality conditions, provided they share research findings openly) to analyze the farm data using the following set of biodiversity parameters: number of non-cocoa trees, species richness, shade cover, number of dead trees standing, number of banana/plantain and number of oil palm trees, presence and diversity of land use types adjacent to the farm, above-ground carbon stock of non-cocoa trees, vegetation structure, succession potential, native/exotic species and primary uses of trees.


Data can be analyzed at multiple scales


All the collected data can be analyzed at five different levels: country, region, district, society and farm levels. Dynamic data presentation tools have been developed, so that the data can be presented by means of thematic maps, graphs, charts and tables to compare regions, districts, societies and individual farms. The database allows for cross-analysis with separately collected agricultural and socio economic data such as size and age of cocoa farms, disease prevalence, fertilizer application, land tenure and other household data.


Users of this information are offered an opportunity to track the changing biodiversity landscape of cocoa farms over time, using current data as the baseline. Results of data analysis can feed into policy and program design at a government level, but also can be very useful when designing training programs for cocoa farmers.


Using the data to tailor farmer trainings


As part of the 15-month project, Armajaro has already utilized the data analysis in order to better tailor its training curriculum to the needs of the farmers. With the help of Bioversity International responsible for the analytical framework of the database Armajaro has identified key priority areas on which to focus farmer training. Working together with experienced adult learning consultants, Armajaro has developed a set of Biodiversity Training Modules which enhance the standard training programme and offer farmers extra knowledge and skills in the following areas: importance of trees, how to set-up a nursery, proper tree maintenance, the tree ownership laws of Ghana, community resource mapping and landscape diversity. The enhanced curriculum will be rolled out to more than 65,000 Ghanaian cocoa farmers, who are benefitting from the sustainability initiatives of Armajaro.


Collecting data in the field
Armajaro field staff collected thousands of data points using handheld devices like this one to populate the database.