WCF introduces Cocoa Livelihoods Program

February 19, 2009 - The World Cocoa Foundation has formed a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the livelihoods of approximately 200,000 West African cocoa farming households in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria.

The program is further supported by major branded manufactures: The Hershey Company, Kraft Foods and Mars Inc; cocoa processors: Archer Daniels Midland Company, Barry Callebaut, Bloomer Chocolate Company and Cargill; and supply chain managers and allied industries: Armajaro, Ecom Agrocacao, Olam International Ltd. and Starbucks Coffee Company. The Cocoa Livelihoods Program will be implemented by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture/Sustainable Tree Crops Program, ACDI/VOCA, GTZ, SOCODEVI and TechnoServe.


Over a five-year term, the program will work with approximately 200,000 households to increase farmer income, while strengthening local service capacity, through three components:
1) Improvement of marketing efficiency

  • Professionalizing farmer organizations
  • Improving quality and value of cocoa
  • Expanding group marketing of cocoa

2) Improvement of cocoa production efficiency and quality at the farm level

  • Training cocoa farmers in production practices and quality management
  • Supporting improvement and expansion of input supply systems
  • Supporting research and piloting of innovations in production technology

3) Improvement of farmer competitiveness on diversified cocoa farms

  • Training farmers in business and marketing tools
  • Developing business service centers with market information components
  • Performing market opportunity assessments and disseminating findings

The World Cocoa Foundation recognizes the valuable input of the national governments. This program will rely on the Government representatives’ involvement and guidance to:

  • Provide program oversight through participation on the Steering Committee
  • Advise on country-specific technical activities
  • Identify innovative technologies through challenge grants with national institutes, universities and non-governmental organizations
  • Strengthen institutional capacity

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