This study has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to get a deeper insight into the huge challenges that the cocoa production is confronted with, and the problems related to the livelihoods of cocoa producers, especially in West and Central Africa.
Several German companies are running their own programmes to help increase productivity, competitiveness and quality. Also official German development cooperation collaborates in providing training and promoting sustainable cocoa production among farmers. The German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) was founded in 2012 and seeks to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers and their families and to help secure livelihoods. It is, however, understood that this approach based on projects can only reach a limited number of small farmers. This approach does not address the structural deficiencies within the value chain. A sector policy approach will be necessary in order to take sustainable competitiveness to a higher level in the long term and improve the living conditions of all cocoa growers.
The Terms of Reference for this study were developed in close cooperation with the four West and Central African countries. They aim at analysing the structure and the pricing mechanisms of the global Cocoa market, and the sector policies of the eight most important cocoa producing countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Ecuador, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Peru) in order to identify sector policy measures that can strengthen the sustainable competitiveness of cocoa production and improve the incomes of coca producers in West and Central Africa. The crosscutting question for this study is the role of government policies, private sector initiatives and development cooperation in the cocoa sector and their impact on smallholders.