The project works on productivity, diversification and quality improvement with a small pilot group of farmers.
The project will convert part of the cocoa production to organic production. The conversion of organic will be paired with intensive training on good agricultural practices (pruning, organic composting, etc.) to compensate for reduced production in the first years of the transition by using no chemical fertilizers. The use of compost, leguminous trees, cattle & poultry manure will improve soil condition and fertility. The project also aims to increase the quality of the farmers’ cocoa beans by improving fermentation processes. These activities combined will lead to a quality and organic premium, considerably increasing the farmers’ income.
Furthermore, The project will encourage the diversification of activities in order to increase incomes: this will happen through the construction of sustainable small-scale poultry farms for the production of food and organic fertilizers. The project will also promote crop diversification and cultivation by women.
To provide the organizations with the required knowledge and all tools for better access to the markets, the project will coach farmers in financial and business management . The coaching will happen via the customized participatory coaching itinerary developed by Enabel. The project will increase access to finance for farmers by installing loans from banks that are independent from exporters and by installing mobile payment systems.
The project aims to empower women by including them in innovative activities of diversification such as poultry farming. In addition, several women within the project will be included in the Women School of Leadership, an innovative project by Fairtrade International that brings women cocoa farmers together for a year of training and mentorship on topics of human rights and gender equality, as well as financial management, negotiation, and income diversification project development.
Youth in this project will be empowered through the “Young farmers” program that was initiated by Yeyasso. The objective of the program is to give a local job to the youth living in the villages. The producers can call the young farmers when they have work to do. It is a development incentive and a way to tackle rural exodus.
The project follows the reasoning the problematic of deforestation is strongly linked with the poverty problematic. Therefore, the revenue increase, the better agricultural practices, and the agroforestry and
the organic switch will lead to reducing deforestation. The conversion of the area into organic production will also contribute to biodiversity, create a microclimate and restore specific fauna that provides ecosystem services in cocoa cultivation.
In 2021, the project’s main priorities were the organic transition and the improvement of the cocoa beans’s quality sold by the Yeyasso cooperative in order for the cooperative to obtain higher prices. To improve cocoa production, shade trees-seedlings (with leguminous trees) were produced and planted. Furthermore, farmers were trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to facilitate the transition to organic farming. Issues with beans fermentation, drying and storage were identified and solved.
Lastly, the project has made great steps in professionalizing the Yeyasso cooperative through the coaching on finance and business management led by Enabel. As such, the cooperative has developed a communication plan with a slogan, website and leaflets.