This industry first is helping to professionalize cocoa farming

October 13, 2017

At the foundation of the Cargill Cocoa Promise are our long-standing partnerships with business-oriented farmer organizations. We empower them as the starting-point for reaching farmers and their communities through our three other action areas.

Launched in Côte d’Ivoire in 2013, in partnership with the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), the Cargill Coop Academy is an industry-first mini-MBA program. Endorsed by the government, it combines 28 days of intensive classroom training with a year of personalized on-the-ground coaching. Its aim is to help farmers develop the financial and management knowledge and skills to enable them to improve the day-to-day running of their businesses and support the long-term success and growth of their cooperatives.

So far, 560 farmers from 140 farmer organizations have participated in the Cargill Coop Academy in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. 

How we measure progress

Over the past years, we have been working with SCOPEinsight to assess the progress and outcomes delivered across 79 cooperatives involved in the Cargill Coop Academy project. 

We applied SCOPEinsight’s proven scoring methodology, which defines and measures farmer professionalism and creates a common language around metrics for measurement. The professionalism of the management, and business viability of farmer organizations, are assessed on eight internal and external dimensions.

The 79 cooperatives were assessed before and after they received training, resulting in a wealth of business intelligence on the performance of the cooperatives. Baseline assessments informed the training and coaching program to ensure that this was aligned with the needs of the cooperatives. The re-assessments provided detailed insight into the impact of the training and it is now being used to further scale and improve the program.

The results are encouraging. Of the 78 cooperatives assessed so far, 28 have been found to be operating at a professional level compared to just five before the project.

Data highlights

560 farmers from 140 farmer organizations have participated in the Cargill Coop Academy in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. 

36% of cooperatives are now rated as professional, compared with just 6% before they attended the Coop Academy.

Looking ahead

Around 200 more cooperatives will benefit from involvement in the Coop Academy across Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon by 2018.

“Thanks to the skills I have learned at the Coop Academy, we’ve been able to apply an annual budget, implement a procedure book and create a development plan for the future.”
Yao N’Dri Pascal, President of the ECASO Cooperative

“This is the first time that we’ve been offered this kind of support. It’s exactly what we need and I would like to express how thankful we are for this program.
Bitty Souho Georges, the Cooperative President, Cooperative Camene

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