Making the case
Solidaridad West Africa’s partnerships in 2013 focused on improving productivity, making service delivery more efficient, developing business cases, climate-smart agriculture, food security issues and gender equality. We also sought to improve the accuracy of data and economic analyses.
Cocoa: The way forward
In 2013 Solidaridad secured a major funding deal worth €7 million through the Dutch Embassy in Accra to implement the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) over four years.
This programme will enable us to take the next step beyond certification, laying the foundations for long-term sustainability so that farmers can earn their way out of poverty. A consortium of Ghanaian government partners, key private sector partners and knowledge institutions will develop new production models.
Solidaridad’s cocoa programme will focus on emphasising the economic benefits of sustainable production.
Achievements and partnerships
- We organised training in good agricultural, social and environmental practices for more than 91,000 farmers in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria over 91,000 farmers. More than 85% adopted the measures, with the result that almost 81,000 hectares of land are now farmed sustainably.
- In Ivory Coast we are collaborating with three buying centres to develop a toolbox to reach 75% of unorganised farmers.
- A new support programme in partnership with Mars and Cargill is delivering training, planting material and fertilisers. More than 100 workshops, government agency staff, cooperatives and private sector partners in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria have been trained in sustainable production.
- Solidaridad is working with more than 26 government agencies on strategies to make cocoa more sustainable.
- Twenty-three civil society organisations and 450 trainers are involved.
- To diversify the income of producers and improve food security,1,250 lead farmers were trained in plantain sucker multiplication and nursery development.
In 2013 Wageningen University in the Netherlands carried out an impact assessment of cocoa programmes in Ghana and Ivory Coast. It concluded that farmers have become more professional, with productivity increasing by around 40%. However, a number of social and environmental issues still need to be addressed.
Cotton: A new spin-off
Solidaridad is extending its Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to a number of African countries, including Senegal. The programme aims to improve labour conditions, reduce the use of pesticides and increase yields and incomes for farmers. Solidaridad has a seat on the BCI council and is working to maintain its reputation as a credible standards watchdog.
Palm oil: Smooth progress
Solidaridad has established 30 sites in Ghana to implement best management practice, in a partnership with the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). By improving maintenance and harvesting techniques smallholders have already been able to achieve higher yields than commercial plantations.
We are helping medium-sized mills to operate more efficiently and an incubator will further professionalise the sector.
Achievements and partnerships
- A roadshow and the first RSPO Lead Auditor Training Course were organised in collaboration with the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil.
- The Farmer Support Programme (FSP) funded a cotton project in Senegal. Other partners in the cotton programmme include APROCA, Compagnie Malienne pour le Development des Textiles and SODEFITEX.
- A five-year sustainable maize project, in partnership with Yara and Wienco, was funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Expanding the team
Solidaridad West Africa took on seven extra staff members in 2013, bringing the total to 54. The Cote d’Ivoire office finally acquired its certificate of registration.
Our budget increased from €6 million to €10 million.