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.

“Women are Good Managers of Finances”

Amina Adams

Amina Adams, 65, leads a group of 28 women in the Isha Allah Medina women’s association. The women are mostly smallholder cocoa farmers with small plots of land and low yields that cannot generate enough income to fully support them…

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“If You Plan for the Future of Your Farm, You Can Make More from It”

Yaa Fosua

Yaa Fosua, 56, has been farming cocoa in the Punikrom region of Ghana for over 30 years. But despite investing in fertilizers and pesticides for her 1-hectare farm, her cocoa trees were unhealthy and low yielding, and she was struggling…

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Cocoa Farming as a Business

Growing more cocoa on less land is a major objective of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative. To achieve this, cocoa and chocolate companies have embraced individual coaching coupled with digital decision-making tools for farmers. These tools combine agronomy and economics…

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“Sustainability Nowadays Is About Having the Right Data”

Raphaëlle Peinado

Meet Raphaëlle Peinado, 31, sustainability manager for a cocoa and chocolate company. “I chose this career because I was interested in the impact the private sector can have on sustainable development. I started my career working in South America to…

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Tree Registration in Ghana: “A dream come true”

As agroforestry practices are being introduced to cocoa communities, trees from different species are planted on farms. Registering these trees is critical as it give farmers tree ownership. It also means they benefit financially from any revenue generated from their…

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“I Was Given 100 Shade Plants Which I’ve Planted”

Abdoulaye Soumahoro

Abdoulaye Soumahoro, 39, is a cocoa farmer in Dagadji, San Pedro region of South West Côte d’Ivoire. Like many smallholders he struggles with low yields, but cocoa and chocolate companies have supported him through one-on-one agricultural coaching where he learned…

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“The Climate Smart Training Has Been Very Helpful”

Abraham Taah

Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are one way in which climate smart standards are shared by cocoa and chocolate companies to help farmers grow ‘more cocoa on less land’ despite climate change. In some FFS, facilitators use a participatory approach to…

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Bringing Cocoa Farms “Back to Life”

Vanessa Ouga Dominique

Vanessa Ouga Dominique, 40, is one of two female farm leads working for a cooperative in San Pedro which has partnered with cocoa and chocolate companies since 2013 and includes around 900 cocoa farmers. In the role, she is responsible…

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“On Average I Map 10 to 15 Farms a Day”

Jean-Marie

As part of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to end deforestation and restore forest areas, cocoa and chocolate companies want to ensure that the cocoa that they purchase is deforestation free, with the goal of 100% of cocoa sourcing traceable…

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“I Would Not Hesitate to Recommend Agroforestry to Others”

William Asante Nkua

William Asante Nkuah, is a cocoa farmer at Eteso in Ghana's Juaboso District. He is participating in a cocoa and chocolate company agroforestry program, which encourages farmers like him to plant forest and fruit trees alongside cocoa in order to…

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“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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Sustainability, cocoa sustainability, sustainable cocoa, why is sustainability important, sustainability defined, sustainability movement, cocoa plant, cocoa bean, cacao, raw cacao, deforestation, what is deforestation