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posted on 7 Mar, 2018

Evaluating the impact of the SSAB program on cocoa farmers in West and Central Africa

In November 2017, GFA was charged with the assessment of the impact of the Sustainable Smallholder Agri-Business (SSAB) program on cocoa farmers in West and Central Africa. For this purpose, GFA conducted in-depth interviews in five countries (Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo). In January and February 2018, 382 detailed household interviews per country (with the exception of Togo with 60 interviews) were conducted. Currently, data are statistically analysed and will be summarised in a final report.

In order to quantify the program’s outputs and to compare the achievements against baseline data, GFA developed the methodology for a survey of cocoa-smallholder households who participated in training courses, and carried out the study in the five partner countries. In each country, GFA worked with a national expert as well as, in some cases, a local research organisation. Interviews were conducted using Survey Solutions, a mobile data-collection system that the World Bank developed for surveys in developing countries.

Around 70% of the world’s cocoa supply is produced in West Africa by more than two million farmers and their families, whose livelihoods often depend entirely on cocoa production. Cocoa yields are low and vary from 200 to 500kg/ha due to old cocoa plantations, expensive production systems and non-adapted input use. Through Farmer Business School Trainings, GIZ and local partners promoted investment strategies, management skills, viable Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and the organisation in cooperatives.

The European Union co-finances SSAB through the Cocoa-Food Link Program (CFLP), which SSAB has implemented since 2014 in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo. The SSAB program was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ). Since the end of 2014, the SSAB has been supporting smallholders mainly in cocoa production zones of the five countries. Its objective is to increase the income and food supply of 400,000 farmers by improving and diversifying the agricultural production.

by  Leonie Kreipe