Cocoa Diaries

Cocoa Diaries is a World Cocoa Foundation blog series giving a voice to individual perspectives at the base of the cocoa supply chain.

“You Can Take Care of Your Children” with Cocoa

N'Dri Kouadio Pascal

He never went to school. Instead, N’Dri Kouadio Pascal moved around the cocoa farms of Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading cocoa-producing country. “When I was a child, both my parents were dead, so I grew up here and there,” he…

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“I Would Have Owned More Farms if I Knew the Things I Know Now”

Elizabeth Obeng

Elizabeth Obeng is a busy woman — teacher, shopkeeper, cocoa farmer, and a single mother. She grows cocoa on two plots of land totaling five acres in Assin Afeaso in central Ghana. “My parents did farming and didn't benefit from…

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“I Love Cocoa”: From Urban Migrant to Dynamic Agroforester

Ediko Appo Agnes

Ediko Appo Agnes stood among her cocoa trees, a machete in one hand with heart-shaped earrings framing her face, and talked about dynamic agroforestry. “It’s a farm where you put several plants — plantain, cassava, all you need for nutrition…

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“For us Cocoa Farmers, our Problem is Climate Change”

Yao Ahou

Yao Ahou has learned much in her 60 years, including two certainties she makes sure to emphasize. “We will always be in the cocoa,” she said, standing among the pod-flecked trees on her three-hectare plot in southern Côte d’Ivoire. “We…

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“Cocoa Farming Has Helped Me”: Productivity, Diversification and a Three-Bedroom House

Kenneth Osei

Farming cocoa is Kenneth Osei’s livelihood, and his passion. Each day he works his five-acre plantation in southern Ghana, knowing the time spent weeding the land and pruning his trees means money to feed his family and pay for his…

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“We Really Like Chocolate”: Managing a Nursery, Empowering a Community

Kouassi Yaoua N’Guessan

Before there was the plant nursery she manages with other local women, and the rice they grow to supplement their incomes from cocoa farming, Kouassi Yaoua N’Guessan led a simpler existence. “I sold my cocoa ordinarily,” she said of her…

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“To be a Successful Cocoa Farmer (…) You Need (…) Modern Technology”

Stephen Cobbinah, Philip Oppong

They both farm cocoa in the same region of Ghana, and both say the changing climate has made their work harder. Stephen Cobbinah, a former deputy commissioner of the Ghana National Fire Service, is a 67-year-old father of five grown…

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“It is cocoa that sustains us” but future generations “will not be farmers”

N’Guessan Michel

N’Guessan Michel is a cocoa farmer on the rise. His 5.22-hectare plot increased its cocoa yield by more than 70% after he underwent productivity training two years ago with the COOPAA cooperative in Oreskrobou in Southeastern Côte d’Ivoire. Additional coaching…

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“Schooling is More Important Than Cocoa Farming”

Janet Kwaa

Just after the birth of her second child more than four years ago, Janet Kwaa began farming cocoa on 4.5 acres of land in southern Ghana. With two young mouths to feed, the 27-year-old has a set regimen for her…

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“Paying School Fees is Difficult Because Cocoa Farming is Seasonal”

Haruna Arko

In the good times, cocoa farming brings Haruna Arko what he needs to provide for his family the way he wants. He can pay the school fees for his seven children and open a provision store for his wife to…

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“[Cocoa] is difficult work, but with determination and perseverance you will be better off”

Sena Korku Wosornu

Sena Korku Wosornu has been cocoa farming in Assin Dunkwa, in Ghana's Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese district, for most of his 66 years, and his story is typical of many in Ghana and Côte D’Ivoire who produce the core ingredient in your chocolate.…

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