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Providing one-to-one coaching

Through personalized coaching, we are helping farmers professionalize their farms

October 16, 2017

We know one of the best ways to improve the livelihoods of farmers and their communities is by improving farm productivity. That is why we champion professional cocoa farming practices, enabling the farmers we source from to maximize profitability on their farms through better productivity per hectare and income diversification.

Farmer training has always been a focal point of our Cargill Cocoa Promise. However, in recent years we found it was not always leading to the adoption of good agricultural practices on the farm. To improve our effectiveness, we have progressively moved towards individual farmer coaching rather than farmer training in groups and classrooms. One-to-one coaching takes place on the farm. It is an ongoing process, spanning assessment of the farmer and farm, training and guidance, through to planning of activities and monitoring of adoption and outcomes.

We began piloting farmer coaching in Côte d’Ivoire in 2016. Together with our partners, ANADER (Agence Nationale D’appui au Développment Rural) and ICRAF, the World Agroforestry Centre, we have trained around 1,250 farmers to become coaches themselves. Each one of these farmers coaches around 60 farmers per year. First, they visit the farmer and undertake a detailed farm assessment, which they use to create a bespoke Farm Development Plan. The farmer is revisited annually to check progress on delivering their plan and monitor the outcomes they are achieving. Through coaching, we get detailed insights at the farmer, coop and regional level, which help us to direct supply of inputs and subject-related training to where it is needed most.

Our one-to-one coaching in Côte d'Ivoire has so far benefited 62,000 farmers, and means farmers are developing more productive, professional farms. As a result, we have found that cocoa farmers who adopted the actions set out in farm development plans in 2016 have already achieved average yield increases of 49% in their first year. Now, we have begun to implement the same farmer coaching model in Cameroon and it is set to be launched in Ghana in 2017.

Data highlights

62,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire have benefited from one-to-one coaching through which they have developed farm development plans.

49% average yield increases among cocoa farmers who adopted the year one actions set out in farm development plans in 2016.

87,000 more farmers to receive coaching in 2017/18.

”Coaching has helped us improve our professionalism since it allows us to identify the problems of our plantations and put in place a development plan for coping with them. It increases our productivity as well as our profit. I manage my plantation as a business and I have a plan to follow to develop it.”

Sissoko Souleymane (farmer) – Cote d’Ivoire

Find out more about our approach to improving farmer livelihoods