The Long-term Net Income of Cocoa Producing Households is What Really Matters. Here’s How We Can Support
A lot of discussion on increasing cocoa farmer income focuses on higher yield and higher prices and/or premiums. In my… Read More
We have seen that, when farmers earn more income and are lifted out of poverty, entire families and communities have improved access to food, health and education. This is why CocoaAction companies and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) have invested in farmer productivity – to improve farmer livelihoods and enable cocoa-growing communities to thrive.
One way that CocoaAction companies do this is by addressing barriers to increased productivity. Natural obstacles such as tree age, reduced soil fertility and pests and diseases impede productivity, and farmers often lack knowledge of modern techniques and farm management skills to address these issues. In addition, farmers have limited access to financing that would allow them to purchase supplies such as fertilizer and quality planting materials.
In 2016, CocoaAction companies reached 147,000 farmers with interventions designed to improve productivity, including:
The CocoaAction productivity package was developed to promote a more efficient and effective means to increase yield (as measured by kilograms[kg] per hectare[ha]). With more efficient production technologies, farmers have the potential to increase their revenues and improve their livelihoods. Furthermore, if farmers can produce more per hectare, they may be less inclined to increase plot size by encroaching on protected areas.
Any effort to improve productivity in West Africa while reducing deforestation and soil degradation should consider applying a combination of soil and water conservation strategies that will reduce crop failure. WCF and its members are developing an integrated approach to address forest degradation using the CocoaAction model of cross-sector collaboration, transparency, and integration with long-term strategies. The Cocoa & Forests Initiative is the first collective industry commitment to specifically end deforestation and forest degradation covering the global cocoa supply chain.
Earlier this year, the BioCarbon Fund and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), together with WCF and Climate Focus, released Eliminating Deforestation from the Cocoa Supply Chain—a report that analyzes current sustainability projects and best practices in the cocoa sector and makes the business case for moving toward deforestation-free production models. This year, WCF and 35 companies in the global cocoa supply chain are working to develop a global public-private action framework to address deforestation in the cocoa supply chain.
Please stay tuned for our upcoming 2016 CocoaAction Annual Report, which further explores learnings uncovered during 2016 implementation and data collection.