The farmers face primary problems. They lack reliable or accurate weather data (see “Figure 2. Problems farmers” on page 22, which makes their harvest yield insecure, which leads to an insecure financial income. This has an impact on their financial status, forcing them to take loans to pay their children’s schools fees. If the harvest is not as great as expected they cannot afford to pay off that loan and their financial situation reaches rock bottom.
The LBCs subsequently face the resulting issues the cocoa farmers have. Due to uncertain cocoa yields, the LBCs do not have a guaranteed supply. Moreover, they lack essential information about their cocoa farmers including farm sizes and productivity per acre.
The last component of the cocoa chain - The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) - also feel these problems. The cocoa productionin Ghana is going down, so is their market share in the worldwide cocoa market.
Next to the cocoa chain, there is an initiative building weather stations across the whole African continent, including Ghana. Their problem is that they need money to build and maintain these weather stations. This initiative tries to set up this weather infrastructure and tries to monitor the weather information for the African continent in a sustainable way. This could be that in the future TAHMO will be a self-earning organisation, without temporary financial donors, but with third parties that pay for the weather information. Which is not the case yet.
Our passion for chocolate had us think about why such a beautiful product is surrounded by all these matters? The beloved candy energises us to explore the culture and all its facets to improve the lives of the people who work day and night and strive to satisfy to the quality that the Ghanaian government is demanding. Our love to travel and curiosity in other cultures made us go to Ghana and help these cocoa farmers.
DuringourstayinGhanaforthree months, we were able to speak with the cocoa farmers, the LBCs and Cocobod. This all contributed to the understanding of their struggles. In those conversations they openly spoke about what actually matters in their daily routine and the struggles they have as mentioned above, and more, which can be read in their sections. By showing our honest
interest in their lives, we were able to gather together very useful information about them.
The gathered information lays the foundation for the development of content services Farmerline offers to cocoa farmers and LBCs. The insight in the customers very much help to build and adapt to their needs and wishes. Thus making it a success.