Launched in 2009, the three-year Commercial Strengthening of Smallholder Cocoa Production (CSSCPP), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed to stimulate capital investment and enhance the lives of farmers in the Ghanaian cocoa business. CSSCPP promoted improved production techniques, increased access to inputs and ﬁnance, and crop diversiﬁcation. Through the use of strategically designed matching grants, this project leveraged $5.8 million in private investment.
CNFA, in collaboration with the National Cocoa Producer Association, Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union, and Chemico Limited, provided support to cocoa farmers through training, certiﬁcation programs, land tenure, and association development.
- Collaborated with agro-input suppliers and farmers to build 20 Business Development Centers for cocoa buying, as well as training and association meetings;
- Provided training in best practices and crop diversiﬁcation to enhance production of cocoa and other crops;
- Worked with ﬁnancial institutions to institute new credit programs to mitigate risk for farmers.
Association Development: In order to promote more convenient access to inputs, training, ﬁnance, and collective marketing, CNFA supported farmers to organize into groups, clusters, and associations, allowing for better service of the maximum number of farmers through project activities to give farmers easy access (within six kilometers) to products and services.
Development of Integrated Warehouses: CNFA collaborated with agro-input suppliers and farmer associations to build model pilot mini-warehouses to serve cocoa producers. Each mini-warehouse has two separate areas: a cocoa buying and certiﬁcation area operated by local buying companies and a room for the producer groups to use for association meetings, trainings, and other events. A small, independent agro-dealer shop selling agro-inputs (seeds, fertilizers, and crop protection chemicals) is typically located nearby. By offering inputs for many crops rather than just cocoa, these agro-dealers encourage crop diversiﬁcation.
Technical Improvement and Certification: Farmers and agro-dealers received technical training on cocoa production. In addition, demonstration plots and farmer ﬁeld days, organized with input suppliers, encouraged crop diversiﬁcation and improved cocoa production practices. After determining the cost-beneﬁt tradeoffs of various certiﬁcation schemes, the program provided information and training, should the farmers choose to secure internationally recognized certiﬁcations like Fair Trade, UTZ, and Rainforest Alliance. As a result of project training and certification services, beneficiary farmers’ yields increased by 189% and incomes increased by 309%.
Stimulating Capital Investment: CNFA conducted an extensive study of land tenure issues as they impact the cocoa industry, focusing on the impact on very small-scale producers, women, and sharecroppers. In addition, CNFA piloted land-titling training for landowners and worked with ﬁnancial institutions to pilot new credit and crop insurance to mitigate farmer risk.