• Instagram

Cocoa Development Project

Why are we doing this

Cocoa is Ghana largest cash crop, and second largest cocoa producer in the World. Through regulation and subsidizing from the Ghanaian Cocoa Board, a good buying infrastructure is in place for any farmer who can produce reasonable quality cocoa, but infrastructure and training is often lacking. When these are provided, cocoa development quickly leads to solid economic growth in farming communities. With this in mind, we are working in Shia Village, where 120 cocoa-growing farms show great potential to increase their yields and produce high quality cocoa that can be sold to an international market for a fair price.

The Cocoa Industry in Ghana

Cocoa cultivation began in Ghana, according to legend, fostered by a blacksmith called Tetteh Quarshie, who, in 1895, returned to his farm in the Eastern Region of Ghana with cocoa beans "in his pocket" from the island of Fernando Po (now Bioko) in Equatorial Guinea where there was already intensive plantation production of Cocoa. Cocoa was first exported at the end of the 19th century, and between 1911 – 1976, Ghana was the world's leading producer, contributing between 30-40% of the world' s total output.

Due to the importance of cocoa in Ghana, both in terms of its effect over the lives of these cocoa farmers and to the Ghanaian economy, the government of the 1930s took over control of the industry. They set up a

buying monopoly for all the cocoa produced in Ghana. This body, first under colonial control, and then the independent Ghanaian government, was intended to protect the farmers from price fluctuations. Whilst it

failed to really ensure a better price to the farmers, they did receive additional help from the other bodies set up by the government (nowknown as Cocobod) such as a Research Institute, subsidized inputs

such as fertilizers and a Quality Control Division. It is these services that, in part, have preserved Ghana's reputation for high quality cocoa. In the late 1970s the world market price for cocoa plummeted by two

thirds. Ghanaian cocoa farmers were getting less than 40% of the world market price from Cocobod; thus, many stopped producing cocoa altogether. The situation worsened after the droughts and accompanying bush fires of the early 1980s and production in Ghana fell from a third of the world's total in 1972 to just 12% of total world

production. At this stage the World Bank and International Monetary Fund intervened with a Structural Adjustment Programme to "rescue" the economy. 

Cocoa is cultivated in six regions in Ghana: Western, Central, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Ashanti and the Volta regions. At its peak it accounted for about 66% of the countrys foreign exchange though has now

declined to around 35 -40%. Most cocoa is produce by farmers on small holding farms less than 3 acres.

What we do 

Invest ​

  • We work with the Current Village Cocoa association to increase volume, quality and market access of cocoa produced. 

  • We provide the necessary equipment and capital to farmers and processing centres. 

  • We provide irrigation solutions that will see the crops through the annual dry season. 

Train

  • We run workshops for famers to help them expand yields at reduced costs.

  • We run courses on heath and safety standards.

  • We run education programs throughout the community, to help lower the barrier for entry into cocoa farming. 

Support

  • ​We help support co-operatives in developing their iteration and selling power.

  • We assist with structures and processes of co-operatives, so that they can serve its members in the best possible way. 

  • We help with sales systems and logistics to get the product to the relevant markets. 

Invest ​

  • We work with the Current Village Cocoa association to increase volume, quality and market access of cocoa produced. 

  • We provide the necessary equipment and capital to farmers and processing centres. 

  • We provide irrigation solutions that will see the crops through the annual dry season. 

Train

  • We run workshops for famers to help them expand yields at reduced costs.

  • We run courses on heath and safety standards.

  • We run education programs throughout the community, to help lower the barrier for entry into cocoa farming. 

Support

  • ​We help support co-operatives in developing their iteration and selling power.

  • We assist with structures and processes of co-operatives, so that they can serve its members in the best possible way. 

  • We help with sales systems and logistics to get the product to the relevant markets. 

Our Goals

Short Term Goals

  • Establish a one-year development plan for water infastructure in the area.

  • Assist the local Cocoa association in expanding its services to equipment rental, knowledge sharing, and collective selling. 

  • Provide technical training to help farmers increase their yields by 25% within two years. 

  • Increase the quality of the Cocao to be highest national levels. 

Long Term Goals

  • Establish a training program on Cocoa farming to encourage best practices. 

  • Increase successful Cocao farmers in the area from 120 to 220 in four years. 

  • Use the funds generated to reinvest in community development and find similar products to copy the same model. 

  • Use this model in other regions of Ghana.  

Our Goals

Short Term Goals

  • Through a 4-step Participatory Analysis for Community action (PACA) Cultivate

  • learns their NEEDS from their WANTS and discover farmers to become co-trainers that

  • will lead to substanable practices when the director leaves.

  • Learn the culture and traditions of the host village to better understand the community

  • and earn the trust/respect for a more successful training.

  • Set up local groups to meet apart from main training days to more effectively and

  • efficiently monitor/evaluate.

  •  Establish a training program on Cocoa and vegetable farming to encourage best practices, understand food security, and importance of a balanced diet.

Long Term Goals

  • Carry out various trainings to assist farmers in bettering their yields and use more organic agriculture practices.  This will not only help environmental concerns, but also lower farmers costs.

  • Assist Cocoa farmers and the various groups in specific trainings to propagate their farms, learn proper planting techniques, amongst other trainings to improve  Cocoa yields.

  • Set up necessary strategies/techniques for farmers to carry out and implement projects upon Cultivate’s departure.

  • Established well ran and organized Village Savings Loans Associations (VSLA) for farmers to be able to invest in their farms to better production.

  • Have the newly formed trainers be teaching the trainings without assist from Cultivate employee to ensure sustainability.

Cocoa farms are notorious for their use of child labour. There are many different parties with different ideas on how to end child labour. Cultivate we believe a well-rounded education on agricultural practices is the key. Educating rural farmers on the importance of education, food security, cheaper organic methods of fertilizer, insecticides, and pesticides, along with basic business practices such as village

savings/loans, budgeting, cash books will bring more knowledge to the farmers and farming community in general helping achieve an overall higher wage. Earning a higher wage does not necessarily mean a better cocoa yield.

The importance of food security will allow a family to be healthier thus, saving money on medicine for sickness; basic business practices for illiterate and literate farmers alike, will allow farmers to record expenditures, income, and be able to budget their money more efficiently; and different strategies regarding farming technique will

allow for cheaper and better yields allowing families more income to send children to school and be more food secure by having more nutritious meals. Kofi Annan stated “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” For child labour to end it starts from both the top and

bottom.

 

It must be a collective effort from all parties involved to make sure fair trade/wage practices are being implemented as well as families are receiving the necessary education expanding their knowledge in all aspects of agriculture from planting/harvesting to budgeting. This ultimately will lead to a higher wages, more efficient use of money, healthier households, and remove the need to send children to farms where their labour will be exploited.

Our commitment to Cocoa Farmers