Resource Details

Modified taungya system in Ghana: a win–win practice for forestry and adaptation to climate change?

Literature: Journal Articles

Kalame, F. B., Aidoo, R., Nkem, J., Ajayie, O. C., Kanninen, M., Luukkanen, O., & Idinoba, M. 2011. Modified taungya system in Ghana: a win–win practice for forestry and adaptation to climate change?. Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 519-530.

Contact Info

Corresponding author:


  • Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 9, P.O. Box 27, FIN 00014, Helsinki, Finland
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
  • United Nations Development Programme, United nations office in Nairobi Gigiri, Block U 308, P.O. Box 30552-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
  • World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), P.O. Box 307978 Lilongwe, Malawi
  • African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Environmental Science & Policy

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Species Info

  • Cassia siamea (Cassia)
  • Triplochiton scleroxylon (Wawa)
  • Terminalia superba (Ofram)
  • Terminalia ivorensis (Emira)
  • Mansonia altissima (Mansonia)
  • Tarrietia utilis (Nyankom)
  • Khaya ivorensis (Mahogany)
  • Khaya anthotheca (Mahogany)
  • Entandrophragma angolense (Edinam)


  • This article provides a summary of the re-introduction of the taungya agroforestry system in Ghana.  In this case, the taungya system starts as an agroforestry plot with timber trees planted alongside annual crops, and evolves into a closed forest.
  • Although it originates from southeast Asia, it was introduced to Africa in the past century, but failed, largely because farmers did not have tree ownership.
  • Taungya was re-introduced in Ghana in 2002 (named the modified taungya system). Approximately 60,000 ha were planted from 2002-2005 with indigenous and exotic timber and conventional crops, including cassava, plantain, yams, and much more.
  • The taungya system was most widely implemented in central Ghana, a transitional area that is undergoing desertification (from the north).
  • Authors studied the implementation of this program using the Adaptation Policy Framework approach of the UNDP. They find that the taungya system will pay off in year 6 after the first thinning. Farmers identified the benefit of having food crops and firewood at the same time.
  • Authors conclude that the modified taungya system is a win-win practice for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and poverty alleviation.

Geographical Region

  • West Africa
  • Country

  • Ghana
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