Where We Work
We currently operate in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The region is endowed with large tracts of arable land and a population teeming with youth. However, crop productivity is less than a quarter of optimum global averages. The region is among the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change. A mix of socio-economic policy instruments, innovation, good governance, investments and improved access to finance can facilitate the transformation the region needs.
Lack of access and investment
The region is hampered by unsustainable production practices, less commercialized farming, unfavorable land tenure, limited youth entrepreneurial skills, degradation of natural resources, low investments and access to finance. These challenges intensify poverty and slow down socio-economic development of communities.
Innovation, policy, and collaboration for change
The region has sufficient human and natural resource potential to address the challenges it faces. Producer support programmes, voluntary certification, policy advocacy, food security, landscape management and smart sustainable land use are already creating a wave of change and new opportunities.
We leveraged strategic partnerships and digital tools to increase supply chain transparency and market access for smallholders. We successfully lobbied and advocated for sustainable practices and policies that improve the livelihood of farmers and gold producers. Our advocacy work led to the passing of two land bills in Sierra Leone and the adoption of a new pricing arrangement in Ghana.
In 2021, we trained 103,472 producers and workers in West Africa to improve their production practices, out of which 36,973 are producing sustainably on 71,153 hectares of land. This includes 14,356 cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire who have integrated good agricultural and climate-smart practices in their production processes. Additionally, 17,358 farmers improved their income after applying the knowledge they received through training.
In 2020, we were able to train more than 95,000 farmers, miners, and workers to improve their practices across more than 90,000 hectares of land. Better environmental practices delivered additional benefits with 47 percent of cocoa farmers in Ghana seeing a marked increase in yield and income. Facing Covid-19 restrictions, we were able to pivot and offer accessible digital support through Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, reaching more than 77,000 farmers and miners with technical support. These efforts were rounded out by advocacy efforts that contributed to six policy proposals to decision makers, which resulted in direct government action on topics ranging from land tenure rights to budgetary commitments.
By working with a range of partners, we contributed to national development agendas in the region. Some 26 initiatives improved practices in cocoa, gold, coffee, cashew, and oil palm. Our work enhanced the quality of life of more than 60,000 smallholder farmers, workers, and small and growing businesses providing agricultural services. By harnessing partnerships, climate-smart practices, and digital innovations, our programmes assured high-performing, impactful interventions.
Driving inclusive solutions
In spite of the fluid development environment, Solidaridad made significant accomplishments in West Africa by driving inclusive and sustainable solutions through smart practices in the cocoa, oil palm, gold and food security-related activities. In 2018, we established more than 60 new partnerships and deepened existing relationships with donors, governments, SMEs and the private sector. Solidaridad West Africa’s target of reaching an ambitious annual budget of 20 million euros was achieved through fundraising and implementing impactful projects and programmes. This contributed to the expansion of activities in the regional operational countries.
Despite funding challenges, the year 2017 has been rewarding due to the enormous commitment on the part of the entire staff of Solidaridad West Africa. During the year, Solidaridad deepened engagement with several donors from the European Union including the embassies of Sweden and the Netherlands. This led to the creation of three new funding agreements for programmes.
The business case
Developing and integrating innovative solutions to address supply chain challenges continued throughout the year. Solidaridad focused on validating the business case to establish rural service centres for cocoa farmers as well as the business case for cocoa farming as an enterprise using empirical data. New discussions centred on farmer service enterprises as a crucial factor for success if best management practices are to be scaled up at both the farm and mill levels.
Solidaridad West Africa continued its engagement with supply chain stakeholders in cocoa, oil palm, gold, and maize. This resulted in enhanced capacities of the producers and improved livelihoods of households. Through the promotion and adoption of best management practices and provision of supportive infrastructure, significant yield increases were recorded. For example, there was an average yield increase of about 50% in cocoa, 160% in oil palm and 67% in maize.
Solidaridad West Africa took its producer support programmes beyond voluntary certification standards by encouraging discussions on a new policy and working with partners to support producers in the various value chains.
Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme, CORIP
The programme is bringing to scale sustainable improvements in the cocoa supply chains of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone through the promotion of service delivery SMEs. This will enhance the large-scale adoption of sustainable intensification, diversification and rehabilitation.
Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme, SWAPP
The programme seeks to transform the West African oil palm supply chain into an inclusive and sustainable sector through SMEs that provide large-scale yield intensification and best management practices to oil palm farmers. SWAPP also promotes the use of improved and efficient fresh fruit bunches (FFB) processing technologies to artisanal millers.
The Golden Line Programme, GLP
The Golden Line contributes to the economic empowerment of women living in and around artisanal and small-scale gold mining communities in Ghana by creating a world where men and women have equal opportunities.
Cocoa Life Programme
The Cocoa Life programme seeks to create a vibrant, strong cocoa supply chain while transforming the livelihoods of farmers in cocoa communities of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire by engaging them in good agricultural practices, diversification, village savings and loans and community development initiatives.
Advocacy for Change for Sustainable Cocoa Production, AFC Cocoa
Solidaridad West Africa engages decision-makers, government agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector to engineer policy reforms on on-farm tree ownership and land ownership security to enhance long-term investments in sustainable land-use practices in cocoa-growing communities in Ghana.
Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme, LICSIP
In creating a vibrant, competitive and profitable cocoa economy, Solidaridad works with farmer groups/associations and private cocoa supply chain companies in Liberia to develop a robust national regulatory and institutional framework.
Boosting Food and Agriculture Programme, BAFS
In partnership with the European Union and cocoa tree foundation of Sierra Leone, the BAFS program will boost cocoa, coffee and cashew farmers’ income and livelihood through improved farm-level productivity, while strengthening national regulatory frameworks.
Improving Palm Oil Stakeholders’ Knowledge on Best Environmental Practices in Cote d’Ivoire
This project promotes best environmental practices in agriculture with respect to High Conservation Values and natural forests to oil palm smallholders in Côte d’Ivoire.
Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Local Communities
The Ghana-DGM programme builds the capacity of indigenous people and local communities to enable them become effective partners in the implementation of all phases of the Forest Investment Program (FIP) and REDD+ processes.
National Initiatives for Sustainable Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS)
NISCOPS promotes climate adaptation and mitigation practices in the oil palm sector to contribute to Ghana and Nigeria’s commitment to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris agreement.
Change that matters with partners who care. Find out what we can achieve together.
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Want to know more about our work in West Africa? Get in touch with our team.
Continental Supervisory Board
Top row, left to right: Mandla Nkomo, Audrey Gadzekpo, Madiam Dao Gabala, Isaac Gyamfi
Bottom row, left to right: Kamau Kuria, Rachel Wanyoike, Graham von Maltitz