Cocoa Farmers’ Household Income Study Ghana

Joint Study on Cocoa Farmers’ Household Income in Ghana - Empowering Women in Cocoa Production


  • Lead school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute HAFL Institut Hugo P. Cecchini
  • Research unit International Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.03.2024 - 31.03.2028
  • Project management Dr. Ingrid Fromm
  • Head of project Dr. Ingrid Fromm
  • Project staff Dr. Ingrid Fromm
    Katharina Ineichen
  • Partner Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa
    FiBL - Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau
    Ghana Cocoa Board
  • Keywords Sustainable production systems;Access to markets and value chains;Society, policy and rural development;


The joint study aims to comprehensively assess the current household income status of cocoa farmers in Ghana. The project is a collaborative effort between Cocobod (Ghana Cocoa Board), SWISSCO (Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa), FIBL (Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau) and HAFL (Hochschule für Agrar-, Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften). The survey will explore the potential impact of recent initiatives on improving the well-being of cocoa farming households, informing stakeholders and contributing to strategies that promote sustainable cocoa production and livelihood improvement in Ghana. The support provided to the study is through master's thesis research, which will be an integral part of the project, focusing specifically on the gender aspect of cocoa household such as income differences between genders. Through in-depth analysis, the thesis will provide valuable insights and recommendations to promote gender equality and empowerment within the cocoa sector, aligning with the project’s overall objectives.

Course of action

Cocoa Production in Ghana -Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world (Teye and Nikoi 2021) -Agriculture contributes about 20% to GDP, Cocoa is the backbone of the economy (most important commercial crop) (ibid.) -Smallholder farmers have a weak bargaining power compared to traders and processors (Callahan 2019) -Structural inequalities within the global cocoa market due to domination of the industry by a few transnational corporations (Amanor et al. 2020) -Challenges: poverty, low yields, poor social provision, gender inequality, youth aiming to leave cocoa production (Barrientos and Bobie 2016) Female cocoa farmers in Ghana -Owning only 2 % of the land in cocoa farming but contributing around 40 % of the work on cocoa farms (Teye and Nikoi 2021) -Women often work on family farms alongside their husbands (as unpaid family labour) but are not recognized as farm owners (Teye and Nikoi 2021; Barrientos and Bobie 2016) -Patriarchal inheritance systems and limited access to land rights further restrict women’s ownership (Teye and Nikoi 2021) -Inequalities in gender power relations (Lebaron and Gore 2020) -Income disparity (earn less than their male counterparts) and have limited or no access to training, finance, and farm inputs  dependent on their husbands (Cocoa Life 2020; Barrientos and Bobie 2016) The objective of the research project is to assess the household income of cocoa producers in Ghana and propose strategies for empowering women in cocoa production.


The expected outcomes are: 1. To understand the current level and pattern of household income among cocoa producers in Ghana 2. Identification of key factors influencing the household income of cocoa producers 3. Understanding the challenges faced by female cocoa producers in accessing market possibilities 4. Identification of effective approaches to strengthen and empower female cocoa producers

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 1: No poverty
  • 2: Zero hunger
  • 5: Gender equality
  • 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • 12: Responsible consumption and production