Modified Taungya System in Ghana: A Win–Win Practice for Forestry and Adaptation to Climate Change?

Modified Taungya System in Ghana: A Win–Win Practice for Forestry and Adaptation to Climate Change?


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 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).

Research Goals & Methods

Authors studied the implementation of this program using the Adaptation Policy Framework approach of the UNDP.

Conclusions & Takeaways

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.



Kalame FB, Aidoo R, Nkem J, et al. Modified taungya system in Ghana: a win–win practice for forestry and adaptation to climate change?. Environmental Science & Policy. 2011;14:519–530. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2011.03.011.


  • Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
  • United Nations Development Programme, United nations office in Nairobi Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
  • World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), Lilongwe, Malawi
  • African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia