Transforming Smallholder Farmers' Lives through Strong Cocoa Value Chains

Approximately 90 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown by smallholder farmers who struggle to make a profit despite cocoa being a high-value crop.

Meanwhile, worldwide consumption of cocoa continues to grow at about 2–3 percent or 60,000–90,000 MT per year. This includes steady growth in the area of dark and single-origin chocolates, which command premium prices.

Challenges Face Increased Market Demand

Projections show global production lagging behind the increasing demand, indicating a clear need for expanded production of higher quality cocoa.

The cocoa sector, however, faces myriad challenges such as climate change, declining soil fertility, pests and diseases, and inefficient farming practices.

Sustainable and Competitive Cocoa Sectors Key for Growth

Recognizing the importance of the cocoa crop to smallholder farmers as well as the international cocoa industry’s need for diversified cocoa sources and stepped-up supply, ACDI/VOCA is addressing constraints to sustainable cocoa production and marketing to increase the competitiveness of the cocoa sector.

Strong Public-Private Alliances Benefit Farmers

ACDI/VOCA is a founding member of the Sustainable Cocoa Enterprise Solutions for Smallholders (SUCCESS) Alliance, which promotes cocoa production and marketing in a way that is economically, environmentally, socially, and culturally sustainable. Through engaging and organizing cocoa-growing communities, conducting intensive training in Farming as a Business and post-harvest handling and quality control, and introducing improved planting materials and scientific cultivation practices, the Alliance has improved the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers.

The SUCCESS Alliance has received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and private sector partners, which include the World Cocoa Foundation and its member companies. The alliance also includes numerous local governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

The Alliance is active in Indonesia, Jamaica, and Liberia and has had past projects in Ecuador, the Philippines, and Vietnam . ACDI/VOCA has also implemented integrated cocoa program components in Bolivia and Sierra Leone.

In addition, ACDI/VOCA’s affiliate, Agribusiness Systems International (ASI), was a technical partner in Ghana and Liberia for the Cocoa Livelihoods Program, which was managed by the World Cocoa Foundation and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with additional cash and in-kind contributions from 12 cocoa industry partners.

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