Cocoa and coffee are generally grown in tropical developing countries 20 degrees on either side of the equator. They are largely consumed in the developed world, although in several producing countries there is substantial room for increased domestic consumption. ACDI/VOCA’s Specialty Crops unit in the Agribusiness Practice Area fosters the sustainable development of cocoa and coffee sectors to empower smallholder farmers to take control of their economic futures by improving production and marketing practices.
ACDI/VOCA draws on our extensive expertise in these high-value crops and works with internal agribusiness, financial and value chain experts as well as government, NGO, commercial and research partners to identify solutions to key obstacles faced by farmers, associations, buyers and processors. This work applies a market-oriented approach to designing and implementing programs, which leads to increased product value at various levels of the supply chain. It thereby creates a win-win, ensuring that smallholder farmers are able to capture greater value through gains in productivity and quality, while commercial partners benefit from increased volumes and improved quality.
To maximize impact, ACDI/VOCA finds and fosters new market channels by matching interested commercial partners with organized farmers who receive training to help them improve yields and meet quality standards. In addition, ACDI/VOCA frequently targets farmers who have been working individually and are interested in forming associations. Using market knowledge and existing relationships with commercial partners, ACDI/VOCA enables farmers to understand the economies of scale and gain the skills needed to organize and work together in order to achieve the volume and quality that commercial partners require. This means that farmers who have previously sold to intermediaries have the leverage to sell higher up the supply chain and capture a greater percentage of the value of their crop. They also learn important business and negotiating skills to become more competitive and business oriented, including entering niche markets that require organic, fair trade or other certifications. These differentiated markets consistently offer high prices to producers provided that they can meet the markets’ rigorous requirements.
Through its Specialty Crops programs, ACDI/VOCA provides the knowledge and skills that coffee and cocoa farmers need to meet market demands so that they can generate greater incomes and provide a higher quality of life for their families. Click below to learn more about our work.