Ghana: Developing cocoa and associated crops through the Sankofa Project empowered by Alliances for Action
Since 2016, ITC in cooperation with its partners- Chocolats Halba (Coop), the Kuapa Kokoo Farmer Union, Niche Cocoa, Max Havelaar Foundation, Fairtrade Africa, Yam Development Council of Ghana and the Government of Ghana have been working together to achieve transformative impact by supporting smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana and their families to improve their livelihoods through income diversification and adoption of climate smart agriculture. To date, several thousands of dollars have been jointly invested by value chain operators. As a result, lead farmer revenues have increased by 22% on the average, and the project secured new commercial partnerships and markets for yam and associated crops. In addition, the Kuapa Kokoo Farmer Union is now mainstreaming the adoption of improved climate risk mitigation and adaptation practices. The scaling up plan for 2019-2023 aims to increase living income, improving cocoa and associated crops productivity & quality, while reducing the over dependency on mono cropping production systems. The ultimate aim is to contribute to 3 pillars of sustainable livelihoods (social, economic and environmental) of stakeholders in the cocoa and associated crops value chains through a multi-stakeholder approach on income diversification, climate resilience and biodiversity conservation.
Sustainable Development Goals
ITC is working with Ghanian cocoa farmers to help them raise and diversify their incomes in the face of the unfolding climate crises. Changing patterns of sun and rain are disrupting their normal growing patterns, so we are balancing our climate-smart approach with indigenous knowledge to help small-holding farmers to:
- Help maintain biodiversity;
- Enhance food security;
- Protect natural resources;
- Enable carbon capture;
- Improve soil management;
- Diversify cropping systems.
We do this through a layered approach where we strengthen alliances all along the production line, from bean to bar, fostering entrepreneurship and assisting with better market access. Sankofa translates to ‘Go back and get it’ from the Twi language of Ghana. Our Alliances for Sankofa project is reaching into past local customs to pave the way for a better economic future for Ghana’s cocoa farmers. Organic farming without the use of pesticides or chemicals, and food forests rather than monoculture are all examples of indigenous practices we are trying to revive and improve with modern science.