Prospects of Shea Trees (Vitellaria paradoxa) in Climate Change Mitigation - A Case Study in Cheyohi in the Kumbungu District of Ghana
There is presently inadequate information on carbon stocks and sequestration potential of shea trees in Ghana in particular and shea-growing areas in Africa in general. A study was therefore conducted to find out the prospects of shea trees in climate change mitigation in the Kumbungu District. A randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications was used to set up the experiment and analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the gathered data (using Genstat). The results were interpreted in simple descriptive statistics in the form of graphs. The research identified 3 cropping systems practised by farmers and these were developed into sole shea tree parkland model (SS), mixed shea trees and crops model (MS) and sole crops model (SC). Findings of the study show that there was no significant difference at (p<0.05) between SS and MS in carbon stock. SS however stored more carbon (2.49 Mg ha-1 C) than MS which recorded 2.21 Mg ha-1 C. There was also no significance difference between SS and MS (p<0.05) in terms of C sequestered, although SS sequestered more C (0.0246 Mg ha-1yr-1) than MS which had 0.0217 Mg ha-1yr-1 C. SS had the capacity to generate the most income from the sale of shea products (CO2seq, shea nuts and fuelwood). This was followed by MS, with SC having the least potential. SS is therefore recommended for adoption by farmers. Alternatively, MS is also recommended as it has an almost equal potential to generate high income and sequester C and CO2. It has an added advantage of producing food crops for both domestic consumption and for sale to generate income for the upkeep of the family.
Keywords: Climate change, Shea trees, Carbon sequestration, Economic potential, Farmers, Ghana
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