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Title: An investigation into the potential use of some indigenous fruit trees as shade trees in cocoa farms in Ghana
Author: Boateng, Samuel Kwasi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 6634
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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This study investigated the potential of some indigenous fruit trees as high value crops for use as shade trees in cocoa farms and the interactions between the cocoa and the indigenous fruit trees with the aim of maximising productivity. A survey on farmers' knowledge on Theobroma cacao-Chrysophyllum albidum agroforestry in the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar District using a structured questionnaire revealed challenges in propagation of C. albidum and the need to address them. The study also showed that the use of indigenous fruit trees in cocoa farms could bring economic gains to the farmer. A range of pre-sowing treatments were evaluated to determine the most effective method to break the dormancy of C. albidum hard seed coats. The results of the investigation showed that mechanical scarification was the best treatment for mass and uniform germination of C. albidum seeds with a percentage of 73.8% Experiments were also conducted to optimise vegetative propagation of C. albidum. In this study the effects of leaf area treatments, IBA concentrations and propagating media were examined. The results showed that stem cuttings with 40 cm2 leaf area on Sawdust medium gave optimum rooting with a percentage of 88.5%. A field experiment to study the interactions between the cocoa and indigenous fruit trees of C.albidum, Irvingia gabonensis and Oacryodes klaineana agroforestry was set up at Afosu in Ghana. The experiment showed that at 15 months, the species allocated varying percentages of plant resources to root, stem and leaves biomass. This showed the growth strategies of the various plants. From these early measurements, C. albidum showed the initiation of a tap root system which could be expected to be less competitive with cultivation with cocoa. An on-farm study confirmed little competition for soil water between T. cacao and C. albidum both in the wet and dry seasons. On-farm data collection enabled stocking of C. albidum fruit tree per hectare to be calculated based on series of allometric equations. The key recommendations for the study are optimal planting distances and density for different age and class sizes of C. albidum trees in cocoa farms as well as pruning of fruit trees and cocoa trees to increase percentage light interception for higher yield.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available