CARE Knows How to Save Your Valentine's Day

CARE Knows How to Save Your Valentine's Day

The world’s taste for chocolate is growing, but supply of the key ingredient – cocoa – is not keeping up!  And despite the demand from consumers, cocoa farmers struggle to make ends meet.  Young farmers often leave their family cocoa business in search of opportunities elsewhere.

CARE and Cargill have been working together for nearly ten years in Ghana to cultivate win-win solutions.  The partnership works hand-in-hand with over 5,000 smallholder farmers to provide technical support and access to innovative production tools and methods to produce more cocoa, while addressing other issues faced by farmers.  Child labor, which remains an issue among cocoa producing communities, is being mitigated by new schooling opportunities and the cultivation of strong parent-teacher associations.  Village savings and loan associations provide new economic opportunities for families, increasing their ability to invest in cocoa production and safely provide for their families.

Our approach is working!  An evaluation of the partnership in 2013 showed that cocoa production, household income and school enrolment and retention rates were all increased over a three-year period.  Specifically, we found a 25 percent increase in the total amount of cocoa produced in project districts – from 3,371 tons to 4,217 tons, with the mean cocoa output increasing from the baseline figure of 7.70 bags in 2010 to 13.22 bags in 2013.  Gross household incomes increased by 29.4 percent in 2013 over the amount earned in 2012. Moreover, 97% of 4,969 children at risk of becoming child laborers graduated from primary school to the junior high level.

In 2014, General Mills’ Baking Products division – which purchases cocoa from Cargill – joined the effort with additional resources to expand the program in 20 cocoa-growing communities in the Central Region of Ghana.  With increased technical support, their support also provides for community-directed innovation grants.

Just $58 can provide a woman with the training she needs to succeed, including learning how to feed and care for her animals and start her own business >