Abstract

For many smallholders, agriculture is the main source of income, understanding how value chains work can derive many benefits to increase productivity and therefore farmers' income. Many different stakeholders around the world are involved in the cocoa value chain, which is part of a billion-dollar chocolate industry. Cocoa farming in many developing countries is the main source of income for households. West Africa is the most important cocoa-producing area worldwide, accounting for 70 percent of the total production. In Ghana, small-scale farmers, with plantations of no more than 4 hectares, are responsible for most of the national production. This investigation sought to determine if the interactions of these farmers with different local and international stakeholders were improving their situation. The study took place in two main cocoa producer regions in Ghana, Brong Ahafo and Western. Three hundred small scale farmers in 20 different villages were interviewed. Interviews of different key stakeholders in Ghana, such as COCOBOD and in Switzerland, Felchlin AG, Chocolats Halba and Chocosuisse were conducted. This study focused on identifying the relationships, support, benefits and/or problems between stakeholders (national and international) and small scale farmers. On the other hand, the issue of contract farming and its impact on cocoa farmers in Ghana was analyzed. The results indicate that small scale farmers have little or no contact with stakeholders especially with chocolate manufacturers, the lack of farming contracts is high in both regions and if farmers work under contract there is little or no information about contracting terms and conditions. Awareness of sustainable production or certifications to motivate better producer price among farmers is also missing. Finally, a participatory value chain analysis is proposed in order to improve relationships between farmers and stakeholders.

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