A new study carried out by Barry-Callebaut and the French Development Agency (AFD) shows that cocoa farmers in Côte D'Ivoire, even with the benefit from sustainable projects such as labels or private sector initiatives, are still living far under the poverty line, with a rough estimate of a per capita daily cocoa income of 568 CFA Franc (Euro 0,86).
This is the direct result of low cocoa yields on already relatively small cocoa farms. The study conducted between 2013 and 2015 confirms that yields are low (435 kg/ha), farms are small (4.87 ha) and old (24 years old).
The barriers to yield improvements are the insufficient use of fertilizers, including organic fertilizers due to insufficient financial means and the lack of access to finance. In addition and of particular relevance in Côte d’Ivoire where trees are old and highly affected by diseases (mainly by stem borer and swollen shoots virus (CSSV) and mirid bugs), the requirement to replant cocoa trees with the optimal planting material is often postponed due to a lack of knowledge of best management practices.