Commercial Strengthening of Smallholder Cocoa Production


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. Specifically, CSSCPP promoted improved production techniques, increased access to inputs and finance, and crop diversification. Additionally, 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.

Program Approach:

  • 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. Producer groups make it easier to serve the maximum number of farmers through project activities; our goal was that each farmer would have easy access (within 6 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 agrodealer 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 agrodealers encourage crop diversification.

Technical Improvement and Certification: Farmers and agrodealers 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, at the request of farmers, training should they 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 land owners and will worked with financial institutions to pilot new credit and crop insurance to mitigate farmer risk.

Program Impact:

  • 189% Increased crop yield for trainees;
  • 309% increase in cocoa farmers’ incomes;
  • 8,937 farmers received technical training on cocoa production and crop diversification methods and approaches;
  • $5,777,124 in private investment leveraged through matching grants;
  • $308,889 in input supply credit leveraged through the guarantee facility;
  • 1,446 Properties surveyed and provided land certification or parcel certs to farmers.