Farmer Field Book on smallholder cocoa farming Côte d’Ivoire for three large cocoa traders

Farmer Field Book on smallholder cocoa farming Côte d’Ivoire for three large cocoa traders

Three Farmer Field Book projects on cocoa farming are ongoing in Côte d’Ivoire in collaboration with three large trade houses. A total of 1,075 cocoa farmers participate in these programs. They record data on their daily farming activities. The gathered data provide insight in the farmers’ farming practices, their cocoa production and productivity as well as their costs and income. Based on these data, recommendations can be made to improve farming practices. An important point of improvement, for example, is the use of fertiliser. Very few cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire use fertiliser, and even fewer farmers use fertiliser with sufficient nitrogen content. As a result, soil nutrients are being depleted and cocoa productivity is low. This may push farmers to cut down forest to use its nutrient-rich soil for cocoa farming. Improved fertiliser use may help to avoid this by preventing soil nutrient depletion.

Agri-Logic provides the project partners with detailed analyses on the drivers of cocoa productivity and farmer income, in which activities as well as other characteristics are considered. Groups of farmers are compared to evaluate the impact of various project interventions aimed to benefit farmers. The analyses also shed light on social topics such as the gap to a living income, gender pay gap and the occurrence of child work and the risk of the occurrence of child work.

New Insights on Reaching Living Income (IDH & partners)
Rainforest Alliance Living Income Tool

Rainforest Alliance Living Income Tool

On request of Rainforest Alliance, Agri-Logic developed a tool for its cocoa certification programme that allows certificate holders to quickly and reliably estimate the gap to the living income of farmers in its supply chain. The model in the tool was developed from a large set of Farmer Field Book time-series data from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The model relies on the very strong relationship between a farmer’s production level and income. Tool users need only add data on 5 variables for each farmer to the tool. The 5 variables are in most instances already available in existing datasets of the certificate holder and as such require no additional data collection. Reliability testing showed the tool to be highly accurate, erring no more than a single percentage point when assigning farmers to above and below the living income categories. This tool is currently being rolled by Rainforest Alliance to cocoa certificate holders who wish to report on living income development.

Farmer segmentation for Sustainable Management Services (SMS)

Farmer segmentation for Sustainable Management Services (SMS)

Agri-Logic was requested by Sustainable Management Services (SMS) to assist in the development useful and meaningful segmentation methods that can be used to tailor services of SMS to farmers.

For farmer segmentation, Agri-Logic developed a multi-lingual dashboard, designed to allow the user to choose the segmentation logic by which farmer segmentation should occur. The dashboard shows the key characteristics of each segment, as defined by the user’s chosen settings. This can help the SMS operational teams to better target services to segments of farmers.

Commodities Export Development Nigeria

Commodities Export Development Nigeria

For AFEX Nigeria, an innovative commodities exchange connecting smallholder farmers to large scale buyers, we were contracted to develop commodities export with an initial focus on ginger and cocoa.

Based on a thorough due diligence to assess credibility, we generated recommendations to adjust the domestic trading template to export and facilitated market introductions to cocoa and spices buyers.

Assessment of the impact of certification on Ivorian cocoa farmers for Rainforest Alliance

Assessment of the impact of certification on Ivorian cocoa farmers for Rainforest Alliance

What are the impacts of certification for cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire? In an impact assessment for Rainforest Alliance Agri-Logic compared certified cocoa farmers with non-certified farmers. The assessment focused on comparing key outcomes: production, yields, profitability and income at farmer level as well as comparing the driving factors behind these outcomes and the contribution of certification to these outcomes.

Key findings of the impact assessment:

  • Certified farmers show a greater reduction in the use of biocides that fall in the Highly Hazardous Pesticides group as defined by the Pesticide Action Network.
  • Certified farmers are more likely to use fertilisers. Their higher rate of savings provides them with a greater capacity to invest. Nevertheless, their choice of fertiliser material is equally skewed towards phosphorus-based products and they show a similar nutrient imbalance with far too little nitrogen being applied as do non-certified farmers.
  • The hours of work on carried out by minors is significantly lower on certified farms, after controlling for other factors, certified farmers use 33% less working hours made by minors. While the data does not allow the distinction between child labour and child work as defined by the International Organization of Labour (ILO), we conclude that the risk at child labour is lower at certified farms.
  • Certified farmers dedicate fewer hours to activities that are likely to result in better yields such as pruning, collecting diseased pods and pruning of shade trees.
  • Certified farmers are more likely to use formal banking services and tend to have lower debt levels and greater savings than non-certified farmers. These are of course desirable phenomena in their own right, but do not make certified farmers more profitable. Consequently, the incidence of poverty, whether measured as the share of farmers living below the international poverty line or the living income benchmark does not differ significantly between certified and non-certified farmers.
  • Cocoa production drives much of the income that farmers obtain and without meaningful changes in farmers’ nutrient management (fertilising and using an appropriate type of fertiliser) we do not expect to see much change in the reduction of poverty among cocoa farmers. This phenomenon helps to explain why despite years of investment in cocoa-growing communities change on the ground has been limited.
Value Chain Analyis Specialty Coffee Rwanda

Value Chain Analyis Specialty Coffee Rwanda

CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The mission of CBI is to connect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries with the European market and so contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth. CBI does this by implementing three to five-year projects in a specific export value chain (VC) in a specific country, focusing on seizing opportunities for exports to Europe and tackling obstacles that hamper or hinder these exports. They are integrated projects, meaning they involve both SME exporters and the enabling environment. CBI develops and implements projects in several consecutive phases.

  1. Value Chain Selection (VCS) phase: based on preliminary research, the most promising value chain in the target country is selected
  2. Business Case Idea (BCI) phase: an initial idea for a project is formulated focusing on the selected value chain
  3. Value Chain Analysis (VCA) phase: an in-depth analysis of the VC is conducted
  4. Business Case phase: a detailed business case for a project is developed
  5. Implementation and Performance Management phase: the project is implemented and the success of the project is monitored
  6. Audit and Evaluation phase: after completion, the project is audited and evaluated.

The objective of the Value Chain Analysis study was to provide answers to the following questions.

  • What does the European export market look like? To confirm findings in the earlier phases of project development and to gain a better understanding of the specific markets and segments a project could focus on.
  • What is the composition of the value chain? Includes an analysis of the key actors, chain supporters and influencers.
  • What are the salient corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues?
  • What are the main opportunities for export to Europe and which obstacles prevent export?
  • What interventions and support activities are needed to seize opportunities and tackle obstacles?
  • How and to what extent will these interventions and support activities help seize opportunities and tackle obstacles?
  • Who can take up which interventions and support activities?
  • What the risks are for a project and how can these risks be mitigated?

The Value Chain Analysis was completed in September 2018, and CBI is currently implementing a specialty coffee program in Rwanda.

Value Chain Analysis for the Coffee Sector in Rwanda (CBI)
Value Chain Analysis Fruit Processing West Africa

Value Chain Analysis Fruit Processing West Africa

This value chain analysis was commissioned by CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) in order to identify the most promising product market combinations for processed fruit from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.

Mango has been identified as the most promising product market combination. 

Compared to other African mango origins, the focus countries have the following strengths, which can be leveraged to maintain and expand market position. This comparison provides a starting point for a regionally coordinated diversification and strengthening of the chain.

  • Burkina Faso: large existing market share with track record of inclusiveness, organic agriculture and is suitable for markets demanding organic products and storytelling. Dried mango is the most promising segment.
  • Côte d’Ivoire: well-developed agricultural economy and business environment in comparison to the other countries in the region, allowing it to potentially kickstart the mango processing sector relatively quickly. Côte d’Ivoire is a transport hub for landlocked neighbouring countries.
  • Mali: opportunity to tap into premium niche markets for dried mango that are interested in storytelling about inclusiveness and environmental sustainability, some traction in purees and concentrates.

In order to increase the positive impact of the sector, key factors need to be considered for supporting companies and their enabling environment, which is true for all three countries: diversification, professionalisation, market growth and coordination.

Value Chain Analysis for Processed Fruits from Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast (CBI)
Analyse de la chaîne de valeur des fruits transformés au Burkina Faso, au Mali et en Côte d’Ivoire (CBI)
Made-by-women specialty cocoa and chocolate

Made-by-women specialty cocoa and chocolate

Thirty Six Foods has partnered with the Able Women Multipurpose Cooperative in Cross-River State and Rokbar to bring high quality and sustainable chocolate to market both in Nigeria and The Netherlands. The partners are creating a chocolate bar fully made by women and produced in Nigeria. The partnership aims to empower female cocoa farmers through access to specialty cocoa markets.

As part of the project partnership, Agri-Logic conducted a baseline measurement on farmer livelihoods and provided training on cocoa quality to the farmer’s cooperative. Agri-Logic also took on project management and reporting to partners.

The Able Women are now formally registered, trained and have a solar dryer in place. A commercial agreement between the cooperative and the chocolate company will ensure buying of cocoa going forward. 

Cocoa sustainability management Nigeria & Ghana

Cocoa sustainability management Nigeria & Ghana

The cocoa sector is constantly considering sustainability. Low quality and low yields are a continued focus. Livelihoods, poverty, nutrition and education require attention. Most large chocolate makers have committed to sourcing 100% certified as sustainable in 2020. Many of these end buyers require increased volumes of certified cocoa, while considering their impact targets beyond 2020. All international traders and several local exporters have partnered with these large chocolate brands for sustainable impact.

Through our consulting branch in Nigeria, we support implementers throughout West Africa in designing the project objectives, organization structure, traceability procedures and budget. We are working as a project liaison monitoring progress and impact. We have analysed the project baseline, and are monitoring progress. We identify any project risks that might affect certification status, our outreach targets and our credibility. We look for opportunities to increase impact.

We integrate sustainable impact with commercial objectives. Since 2016, we have supported our clients and partners who have reached out to a significant number of farmers across West Africa, and the numbers and impact keep expanding annually. UTZ certification was obtained, and the field presence is leveraged to increase impact on livelihoods.

Coffee export capability Burundi & Rwanda

Coffee export capability Burundi & Rwanda

TWIN in partnership with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) implemented a two year project to strengthen export capabilities of twenty coffee cooperatives in Rwanda and Burundi with a specific focus on supporting cooperatives in: attaining certification, increasing access to Specialty Coffee markets, improving quality of the coffee produced and developing a traceability programme for coffee grown by women.

This export capabilities study identifies actors, value addition, financial analysis, market demands and the enabling environment. We have assessed the export capability of each of twenty coffee cooperatives on a range of indicators, leading to a segmentation. Furthermore, we identified general trends in export opportunities and challenges for both origins.

Even though Burundi has very high quality coffee according to buyers, there are still a lot of basics that need to be covered to be able to market the coffee successfully. Major challenges still exist in logistics, speed, traceability, reliability of pre-shipment samples, communication and marketing.

Rwanda is seen as well-organised and it is a coffee of good quality, there are certain constraints put forward by the buyers with regards to the marketing of the coffee. Flavour is not as unique and other differentiation is needed to compete in the specialty segment. Cooperatives are not always able to provide reliable pre-shipment samples and have limited knowledge of the market and pricing.

Coffee export capability assessment Burundi & Rwanda (TWIN-TMEA)