Coconut Palm on the Coastline of Western and Central regions of Ghana

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Forestry
Title Coconut Palm on the Coastline of Western and Central regions of Ghana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.) is the most well known of the palms. It has a pantropical distribution but is largely constrained to coastal locations. The pantropical spread of the coconut palm is heavily influenced by humans. Coconut were taken on trading vessels as a source of fresh water and food supply and were planted at destinations along trade routes. At a local level coconut spread was aided by humans because of the plethora of uses for every part of the palm. The coconut palm reached West Africa, and Ghana, about 500 years ago. The Republic of Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country independent of European rule and has enjoyed a relatively peaceful and stable state without armed conflict. The primary economic sectors of Ghana are mining, timber, agriculture, and tourism. Over 40% of the population is engaged in agriculture. Along the coast coconuts contribute a significant portion to peoples livelihoods. Coconuts in Ghana had a modest distribution until World War I when markets stimulated the establishment of coconut plantations. In 1932 a lethal yellowing disease, locally known as Cape Saint Paul wilt disease (CSPWD), was introduced to Ghana. CSPWD has since been slowly spreading and devastating the coconut palm population. The breeding of hybrid variety coconuts to obtain resistance to CSPWD has seen some success. Use of hybrids for plantings, however, has been slow. Local people mostly find the hybrids advantageous, but say they are difficult to obtain and expensive. Future recommendations include alteration of current programs and to include more educational information for farmers.

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