Farmers Challenges

Smallholder cocoa farmers are the most important part of the cocoa sector, yet the least visible in the sector. They represent about 98% of cocoa farmers worldwide. They mostly live and work in the hinterlands, remote and rural parts of cocoa growing regions, which makes it difficult to reach them. As a global farmers organization, our priority is to work with other stakeholders to make sure that these 98% cocoa farmers scattered around the world are reached at the grass roots in a more efficient and structured manner under one voice through WCFO. This will not only be beneficial to them, but to the entire sector as it will boost production and improve quality.

Direct market
Currently, members get only 3% of the profit gained from the sale of a bar of chocolate in any shop worldwide. For smallholder even earn lesser than the 3%. The best ways to help cocoa farmers out of chronic poverty is for them to be able to market their crop directly to the buyers and traders.

Youth lost interest
Cocoa farming keep losing its attractiveness to the younger generation. Many youth do not see it as a business from which a decent income can be earned. This discourages potential young farmers from engaging in cocoa farming and existing ones from re-investing. They lose interest and quit farming, a phenomenon which in the long run affects the potential to meet worldwide demand for cocoa.

Pests and diseases
Disease and pests are the biggest threats to cocoa farming. Most often farmers lose high quantity of yield to pests and disease. Pest and diseases have a major influence on the annual production of cocoa beans,  that contribute to lesser annual income.

Climate change
Climate change and environmental sustainability have become very indispensable topics in the production of cocoa and still remains a critical issue. Several efforts have been made by governments, institutions and Civil Society Organizations to educate stakeholders on climate change and its effects.

Certification and standards
Large portion of cocoa farms are not certified and most farmers are yet to be sensitized in order to understand and experience the benefits that comes from sustainable farming. These are mostly smallholder farmers who are the majority of cocoa producers. WCFO main goal is to organize smallholder cocoa farmers and provide them with training and education on better farming standards and certification that will pave way for meaningful traceability.