Raising cocoa farmer incomes Improving the cocoa value chain in Madagascar

Madagascar context

Madagascar, off Africa's south east coast, is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Despite a wealth of natural resources the country remains one of the world's poorest. Ranked 154th out of 187 countries in the UN 2015 Development Report, more than half of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished. Over 80% of the population - some 20 million people - live in rural areas and 92% live on less than $2 a day.

Farming forms the backbone of Madagascar's economy but production remains very low. The main barriers include limited access to agricultural inputs; poor post-harvest techniques (for value addition); and a lack of access to markets.

Piloting a new approach in the cocoa sector

In response to these challenges, in 2015, the Aga Khan Foundation began piloting a cocoa value chain initiative in Madagascar's northern Diana region. Its aim is to improve the quality of cocoa and demonstrate to private sector buyers that the Diana region has the potential to become a significant producer of quality cocoa. In doing so, over time this initiative aims to increase exports and, ultimately, raise the incomes for thousands of farmers. Initially, working alongside 125 farmers, the programme is focusing on three key initiatives.


1. Renewing the ageing stock of cocoa trees

By supporting the creation of nurseries at the household level, AKF helps ensure that better quality cocoa is grown, in turn, generating greater demand. AKF is working with farmers to increase the production of the better quality Criollo and Trinitario beans which are particularly aromatic, lacking in bitterness and in great demand.

2. Improving orchard management practices and post-harvest value-added activities

By disseminating household fermentation techniques, farmers can employ processing techniques at the household level and increase the value of the cocoa they sell to the buyer.

Cocoa beans

AKF is working with farmers to increase the production of the better quality Criollo and Trinitario beans which are particularly aromatic, lacking in bitterness and in great demand.

3. Connecting farmers with markets

The aim is to improve the farmers' capacity to conduct business and to become stronger actors within the sector. Working together with the private sector, AKF has helped facilitate contracts between farmers and buyers to ensure the steady demand and price for quality cocoa.

Taken together, these activities aim to increase the demand for cocoa dramatically and increase incomes for cocoa farmers. This initiative also aims to demonstrate a model that can be taken to scale.

The next step of the programme: scaling

With external funding, AKF aims to support 5,000 cocoa farmers within two years, and 10,000 farmers within four years. The investment is expected to be in the region of US $4 million, and AKF is currently seeking partners for this project. For more information, please contact Didier Van Bignoot, Country Manager, AKF Madagascar: didier.vanbignoot‎@akdn.org

"There is an enormous opportunity in Madagascar to develop the cocoa industry, increase cocoa exports and raise the incomes of thousands of farmers."

Didier Van Bignoot, Country Manager, AKF Madagascar

Created By
Aga Khan Development Network Wilton-Steer


Christopher Wilton-Steer

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.