Farmer Development Centers, Ghana
AgroEcom Ghana Ltd (AGL) together with Sustainable Management Services (SMS) has implemented Farmer Development Centers since 2012.
By offering innovative, inclusive agricultural services to farmers who supply cocoa to AGL through Farmer Development Centers, SMS aids farmers in modernizing their farming practices, leading to increased yields and income, thereby improving their livelihoods. Each Farmer Development Centre reaches approximately 1,250 farmers with the following services:
1. Grouping farmers in farmer organizations
2. Training services
3. Access to planting material through community-based seedling nurseries
4. Demonstration plots showing Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) techniques
5. Access to agro-inputs through a credit scheme
6. Marketing of traceable/ certified/ verified cocoa
Since 2012, Farmer Development Centers SMS has increased its scale and now delivers services to 100,000 farmers across five cocoa-growing regions of Ghana. SMS works with over 4,000 local staff including agronomists, field technicians and farmer trainers. The economic and social impact goals are significant:
- By reducing the cost of the common basket of goods purchased by households in AGL communities, households realize savings that can be used to attend to other needs.
- By increasing community level access to goods and services, time and money saved not traveling to districts increases availability of time for work and household-related duties.
- High-impact mix of work and household-relevant items have a positive impact on rural, cocoa-growing households.
The set-up of micro-franchise businesses is a game changer in the lives of the entrepreneurs and their communities.