‘Cocoa farming is a tradition, and there aren’t really any alternatives’

In the West, chocolate consumption is increasing, a trend that only intensified during the pandemic. But in Africa, this is not translating to more welfare for producers of cocoa as a raw material. The approximately 3 million, mostly small farmers have been facing serious problems for decades. Especially in the West African countries Ghana and Ivory Coast, where 70% of the cocoa comes from, three quarters of cocoa farmers does not earn a decent income. ‘They spend their meagre income on basic needs such as food, medicine, and school fees. There is little left to invest in the much needed improvement of the cultivation process,’ concludes Senior Economist Yuca Waarts of Wageningen Economic Research.