As global demand for sustainable and traceable cocoa increase, cocoa farmers mainly the smallholders in west-central Africa, who together produce about 80% of world cocoa beans are faced with multiple challenges. These includes low income, climate change and lack of better GAPs knowledge. Currently millions of cocoa farmers are trap in a systematic poverty line making cocoa farming business unsustainable and therefore, unattractive to the current and the future generation.
These challenges must be address in order to sustain the cocoa and chocolate industry particularly as many unorganized smallholders who together are accounted for the production of about 98% of global cocoa beans, are already chopping down their cocoa trees and replacing it with alternative crops. Many cocoa farmers have choose to grow crops which can be harvested multiple times each year, so they can earn more, fair and sustainable income, this will them take care for their children and have a better living standard.
Challenges have also led in the use of unacceptable practices to produce cocoa beans including: child and forced labour, deforestation and has promoted urban migration in search for employment mainly by the youths in seach for better live. We are confident that, through the implementation of reform and by putting in place the needed changes. cocoa farmers will be able to grow their cocoa crop in a sustainable manner and can earn a fair income. Doing so, we are contributing to secure a cocoa sector that is free from the use of sector unacceptable practices.
These will go a long way to alleviate cocoa farmers from chronic poverty, end child and forced labour, stop deforestation, ensure traceability, and secure long-term cocoa sustainability. It will also ensure a better living standard for farmers and make cocoa farming attractive again for the current and future generation cocoa farmers.
- Exporting government should assist youths, and women in cocoa communities with access to land, suitable for cocoa farming
- Sensitize, train and build the capacity of young cocoa entrepreneurs, so they have skills on Good Agricultural Practices to manage a sustainable cocoa farming business
- Work with partner to support youths tools and knowledge to be cocoa farming, and create direct access to market to secure fair cocoa price
- Employment opportunities for women and youth in cocoa communities
- Reduced rates of rural migration
- Improved economic activity in cocoa communities
- Poverty alleviation
- Secure production for the foreseeable future
- promoting meaningful trading relationships that distribute power, risks, and rewards more equitably.
- promoting a competitive cocoa farming business through implementing fair cocoa trade practices in the sell and buying of cocoa beans among stakeholders.
- improving commercial integration between cocoa producers, buyers’ banks including the sharing of risk from farm, logistics and consumers levels.
- improving production habits of harvesting systems, seed selection, cultivation processes, sourcing and application of modern inputs.
- promoting better harvesting and post harvesting handling using modern technologies, grading and sorting, etc.
- defining and characterizing new marketable opportunities for cocoa farmers (smallholder) by interlinking farm level producers with processors, traders and small chocolate retailers.
- trading should be used as a tool to help alleviate poverty, create opportunities, and reduce inequality for cocoa farmers and develop their communities.
- Trading must promote impartial compensation, safe and healthy conditions, direct and long-term engagement free from discrimination and child and forced labour.
- providing end consumers with access to the facts on the ground about farmers situation, as it will help to bring positive impact on the lives of farmers and farm workers and which will develop better understanding between farmers and end consumers