Growing Fairer Sustainable Futures: Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa, with the majority of farms situated in rural communities where there are few alternative income opportunities. 

In a country where one in six people depends on cocoa for a living, long-term intensive farming has led to soil degradation and ageing cocoa trees.  Research suggests that a typical cocoa farmer in Ivory Coast earns under 75p per day - far below the World Bank’s extreme poverty line of around £1.40.  As a result, young people see cocoa farming as challenging occupation with very little return. 

West African cocoa farmers have an average age of 50-plus and many have to entrust their farms to children who see no future in the sector.  Working in partnership with Fairtrade cocoa co-operative CAYAT in the South East of Ivory Coast, we will provide 50 young people with the practical training, equipment, and knowledge to turn their cocoa farms into profitable businesses. 

As climate change and black pod disease continue to pose major challenges, Climate Smart Agriculture is an integral part of the training, and farmers will receive a total of 37,500 disease-resistant cocoa seedlings along with other vital tools and equipment.

The seedlings will be nurtured by CAYAT before being distributed to the young farmers for planting along with other native trees , including banana trees. They will offer important shade to the young cocoa seedlings, and provide an additional source of household food and income as surplus crops can be sold locally.

“I think that with an application of everything we learned during the trainings thanks to this project the cultivation of cocoa will be a source of income.” Anita Akaffou (Project participant)

This project is funded by a donation from a Shared Interest Society member.

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