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Service delivery for small holder cocoa farmers: what's working, for who and where?

verina's picture

In many cocoa growing countries, the sector is one of the main drivers of the economy. Smallholder farmers are the main players and are dependent on this cash crop for a signficant proportion of thier income. At the same time, these farmers are “key” to the security of supply. Generally, productivity, consistency and quality levels are variable and often low. Farmers have many needs to improve their performance and returns, including:
- Production-related needs (focussed on increasing productivity, quality, efficient farm management)
- Finance-related needs (for inputs, renovation, investments, saving products, crop insurance)
- Market-related needs (to ensure the smallholder has access to markets to obtain a good price for his produce)
- Value-chain related needs (developing activities that add value and to removing activities / supply chain actors that negatively influence the price a smallholder obtains)

Service delivery models
To meet such needs, a diverse range of services are delivered, in different ways, to farmers. They are delivered by governments and thier extension agents, non-government and civil society organisation, and increasingly by traders and buyers. But not a lot is known about the costs (initial investments and on-going expenses) and cost-efficiency, the effectiveness (are farmers satisfied, what is the effect of the services?), the scalability (can such models be widened to reach more farmers easily at the same cost and quality?) and thier long term financial self-sustainability. There is a major lack of data and metrics and little comparative analysis of what works, for who, and where, although there many studies looking at service delivery models.

This interactive session will:
- Present preliminary findings from studies examining what models are working, where and for who and thier costs;
- Particpants can present exciting new service delivery models, such as the four-year Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) in Ghana project managed and coordinated by Solidaridad West Africa and jointly developed by a consortium of cocoa sector partners and industry companies including international Fertiliser Development Corporation, Armajaro, Cargill, ECOM, Barry Callebaut, ADM and Continaf, and the IDH Fertilizer Initiaitive, who can provide other exmaples?
- Gather your experiences and suggestions
- Get your feedback - vote on what you think is needed, how it should be provided and by who!


From Eric Agyare Programme Manager, CORIP, Solidaridad West Africa “CORIP as a good example of current Dutch policy of combining trade and development cooperation demonstrating how public and private interests can go hand in hand to add value to the sector without the government having to take on additional burden to increase export revenue, make production more sustainable and improve farmer’s profits.” - Hans Docter, Dutch Ambassador in Ghana. The Dutch Embassy in Ghana and Solidaridad (West-Africa) have developed the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) – Ghana, in partnership with private cocoa industry partners and other technical service providers including International Fertilizer Development Company (IFDC) and Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG). Cocoa remains the largest export crop in Ghana and is one of the main sources of the country’s revenue generation since independence. The Netherlands is the largest importer of cocoa beans from West-Africa. Though a key contributor to the Ghanaian economy, the sector is plagued with a number of challenges including declining soil fertility, poor entrepreneurial skills of farmers, lack of farmer access to technology and production skills, inadequate access to credit and low investment, environmental challenges, among others, leading to low productivity and uncompetitive sector. CORIP is a four year programme which commenced within the last quarter of 2013 and will support farmers to rehabilitate and intensify their production systems through cost effective service provision (agro-inputs, finance, and business development) within a Cocoa Rural Service Centre (RSC) set up. A Cocoa rural Service Centre under CORIP is a privately run one-stop shop capable of providing knowledge, information and agro-inputs to cocoa farming communities to enhance their productivity. The key drivers of the RSCs shall be innovation and financial sustainability beyond the project life. CORIP shall establish 20 RSCs, each expected to cover 2000 farmers and contribute to improvement of their yield from the current 400kg/hectare to a minimum of 1000kg/hectare. So far, six (6) private sector cocoa companies have applied to CORIP to establish RSCs using different models of service delivery. Once RSC models are established, they shall be monitored, and analyzed financially and economically by third party research institutions to determine service delivery models that stand the chance to significantly contribute to Ghana’s cocoa sector in terms of productivity and wealth creation for farmers.


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