Akwacao, Ivory Coast
Improving agricultural, social and environmental practices through training and organization.
ECOM’s agronomy division in Ivory Coast, AKWACAO, was established in 2009 and now employs 40 farmer organization administrators and agronomists, and over 200 farmer trainers.
As part of its training program, AKWACAO is creating widespread demonstration farms to allow farmers to see firsthand the value of pruning and grafting. In partnership with Rabobank International Advisory Services, AKWACAO is working to strengthen the management and governance of 20 cooperatives. Together with the NGO, Solidaridad, AKWACAO is experimenting with models to organize farmers for training and certification.
Conditions in Côte d’Ivoire are challenging. Our partnerships enable us to embark on these ambitious initiatives. Partners include World Cocoa Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DEG, Rabobank Foundation, Solidaridad and the Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH, together with a number of private partners. These partnerships can entail co-investment or the transfer of innovative technologies.
Thanks to an intensive hands-on effort, ECOM has so far succeeded in supporting and certifying (UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Certified) 22 farmers’ organizations. In total, this represents about 10,500 farmers registered in the ECOM program, reaching close to 85,000 beneficiaries.