It is participating in the ProEco project which is a 5 year study to compare high and low input conventional farming with certified and non-certified organic farming. The research is done in collaboration with the University of Ghana.
Data on farm activities and production are collected on a fortnightly basis on sets of 70 farmers per category. The research is done in Ghana and Kenya, involves, next to cocoa, other crops like vegetables and maize. It will lead to the first African study comparing the four farming systems among comparable farms. The African Union is keen to receive the results as it may lead to policy recommendations.
Agro Eco originally focused on organic agriculture. Consumers are willing to pay extra for pesticide free food. A main reason for pesticide residues in food is because of the inappropriate use of agrochemicals by the farmers. We are working with Syngenta to compare timely and proper application of pesticides with Business as Usual in cocoa.
Given the good results we promote in all our projects (even the organic ones) that spraying is to be done by trained professionals using the best, maintained equipment. We work also with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on the Green Label, a certificate for the vegetable farmer who uses inputs in an appropriate way.
Together with IITA,Agro Eco works on climate smart cocoa. Climate change is undeniable; in some parts of the country cocoa is on the retreat. The research investigates how farmers react to the changes, what the trade-offs are, how they make their decisions. That continues to be the major challenge, to understand how the farmers, their household, their communities think and make decisions. We try to help and support in making those decisions.