The Establishment of the Cocoa Abrabopa Association project began in December 2007 to increase incomes and improve the livelihoods of resource-poor cocoa farmers in Ghana by strengthening the Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA). Project objectives were to help CAA become financially sustainable, build members’ business skills and technical knowledge, improve access to agro-inputs and improve the cocoa quality and environment in Ghana. (“Cocoa Abrabopa” means “cocoa for a better life” in the local language.)
Collaborators included public and private organizations: the CAA, Wienco Ghana Limited, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), TechnoServe and IFDC. Wienco (a Ghana-Dutch agribusiness company) provided agro-inputs, while CRIG developed fertilizer recommendations and TechnoServe (a nonprofit company based in the United States) organized business and management training. IFDC’s role was to train farmers in Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), assist CRIG in the development of fertilizer recommendations and coordinate the overall project. The project, which ended in 2009, was funded by Embassies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Wienco.
The project was built upon activities that began in 1999, when Wienco and CRIG developed the Abrabopa package, a combination of agro-inputs and farm management practices. The package increased yields from 3.3 bags/acre to 7.0 bags/acre after the first year of testing and to 15 bags/acre after the third year.
Farmer groups could buy the inputs on credit at no interest and receive technical advice. In 2006, 164 farmer groups (1,441 cocoa farmers) registered to receive the package. Only the groups that repaid their loans could register again the next season. In 2007, 766 groups (6,102 farmers) registered. The CAA was officially registered as an association in 2008, and a total of about 14,000 farmers have now become members.