28 August 2019

Cocoa farming: Reforming the sector to improve the living and working conditions of producers


Cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and their families have been living in precarious conditions for decades. This is despite the importance of their work to socio-economic development of these countries.

In Côte d’Ivoire, to ensure 40% of global supply, the cocoa sector mobilizes nearly 1 million producers who employ 5 million people, or about 1/5 of the country’s population. The sector is also the country’s largest provider of foreign exchange and one of the major contributors to government revenue.

Unfortunately, more than half of the producers live below the poverty line with a daily wage of less than CFAF 757 (which is about $ 1.20). Moreover, the expansion of cultivated areas in recent decades has depleted the country’s forest reserves. In addition to this, Côte d’Ivoire is yet to increase its share of 5-7 % of the gains made along the cocoa-chocolate chain at the global level.

The governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are aware that the economic and social development of their countries depends on improving the living and working conditions of producers. They have been conducting joint discussions, since 2018, to try to improve the performance of the cocoa-growing sector.

It is in this same context that the 9th report of the World Bank on the economic situation in Côte d’Ivoire analyses the latest trends in the Ivorian economy. This report presents how the cocoa sector could support the structural transformation of the country and thus promote greater economic and social inclusion for a more harmonious development.

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