Solidaridad West Africa

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 has secured a major funding through the Dutch Embassy in Accra to implement the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP).

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 emphasizing the economic benefits of sustainable production.

Achievements and partnerships:

  • We organize training in good agricultural, social and environmental practices forfarmers in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Most have adopted the measures, which resulted in more land being farmed sustainably.
  • In Ivory Coast, we are collaborating with buying centres to develop a toolbox to reach the majority of unorganized farmers.
  • A new support programme in partnership with Mars and Cargill is delivering training, planting material and fertilisers. Government agency staff, cooperatives and private sector partners in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria have been trained in sustainable production.
  • Solidaridad is working with government agencies on strategies to make cocoa more sustainable.
  • To diversify the income of producers and improve food security, lead farmers were trained in plantain sucker multiplication and nursery development.

Wageningen University in the Netherlands has also carried out an impact assessment of cocoa programmes in Ghana and Ivory Coast. It concluded that farmers have become more professional, with the expected productivity increases. 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 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 professionalize the sector.

Achievements and partnerships:

  • A roadshow and the first RSPO Lead Auditor Training Course were organized 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.