Breaking the cocoa survival cycle 

Cargill helps smallholder farmers improve their livelihoods 

January 10, 2013

Cocoa supply chains are complex, and smallholder cocoa farmers in developing nations often face daunting challenges, such as weak crop yields and limited incomes.

Cargill has established and supported farmer cooperatives through several initiatives that improve the viability of this crop for smallholder farmers. Farmer cooperatives are centers where knowledge can be shared to grow its role in the development of the community, and where farmers can gain increased access to infrastructure and the market.

One of the main focuses of the cooperatives is supporting better and more sustainable farming practices. Sustainability leads to superior cocoa production and quality, granting farmers greater market access and higher prices. With their increased profitability, farmers and the cooperatives can invest in community services and facilities like hospitals, schools and orphanages. They can also find better education opportunities for their children.

We have partnerships with more than 110 cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire alone, and have trained around 60,000 Ivorian cocoa farmers in good agricultural practices every two weeks for 10 months of the year. In 2012, the average income of the farmers connected to the program was $4,250, significantly greater than the $2,200 average income in Côte d’Ivoire.

That income is allowing these farmers to reinvest in school fees, daily expenses for their families and their farms.