INSITUM + WORLD COCOA FOUNDATION
Creating Sustainable Cocoa Farming Strategies
Understand and document the characteristics and decision-making processes of successful farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and identify the strategies and insights that could inform services and interventions for the general cocoa-farming population.
The information uncovered in this study is informing the design of World Cocoa Foundation’s productivity and community development intervention programs.
The Ivorian cocoa sector currently faces a multitude of problems that threaten the sustainability of cocoa.
The full story
Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, generating an average of 1.2 million tons of cocoa per year which is approximately 35% of the global cocoa market. However, the Ivorian cocoa sector currently faces a multitude of problems, including aging trees suffering from diseases like swollen shoot and brown rot, an aging farmer population, and an insufficient supply of labor all threaten the sustainability of cocoa.
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and its leading members in the chocolate and cocoa industry are working with the Ivorian government to design a series of productivity and community development intervention programs that will reach 300,000 cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and neighboring Ghana (also a significant cocoa producer) by 2020. On behalf of this strategy known as CocoaAction, WCF engaged Insitum to conduct a qualitative study of successful farmers in Côte d’Ivoire.
The Insitum team started by conducting secondary research and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and industry experts to identify existing knowledge and assumptions about cocoa farmers and key demographic information. We used this portion of the study to identify the fieldwork sites and sample specifications. In the second phase of work, we conducted fieldwork in six communities across three regions. In each community, we conducted contextual observational research, as well as qualitative individual interviews with successful cocoa farmers, farm employees, and household members.
In each community, we also conducted co-creation sessions with less successful farmers. We used a variety of visual note-taking methods, as many of the farmers were never taught how to read. During these sessions, we identified how farmers viewed the barriers to their success. In the end, we worked with these farmers to ideate on potential solutions to some of the barriers.
The Insitum team was able to identify four different types of successful farmers, pinpointing specific strategies and pain points for each type. Finally, we analyzed the information from the co-creation groups in conjunction with the success strategies to highlight relevant opportunity areas and intervention ideas. The information uncovered in this study illustrates how technological solutions must recognize societal nuances and behaviors in order to have success and enact change. The solutions that Insitum uncovered are now informing the design of WCF’s productivity and community development intervention programs. For more information about WCF, visit CocoaAction website.