Increasing incomes of farmers

Organic and fair-trade exports from Africa



From 2005 to 2009 the project undertook, among others, the following activities in support of farmer groups at different stages of the supply chain:

Production level:
- Training of farmers to comply with standards and to improve agronomic practices. For example: farmer field school programme in cocoa and mango
- Financial assistance to farmer groups for tools and protective clothing

Harvesting and packaging:
- Training of produce agents and packaging teams
- Support to increase handling capacity or improve hygienic conditions
- Support to build packaging shed to separate organic from conventional produce

- Financial support to pay for certification costs in conversion period
- Technical assistance to design and implement an internal control system (see the example document in the right-hand column.

               See: example document of an internal control system          

- Assistance to farmer groups to develop a constitution, hold general meetings and improve membership registration
- Training on cost-benefit analysis and export planning

- Visit to BioFach, the world largest organic trade fair
- Assistance to develop publicity materials

For more information on specific methodologies of some of these activities, such as Farmer Field Schools, and for support material, please see our "Guide for decision makers".


To share experiences and lessons learned, national workshops were organized in all countries, starting with Ghana in January 2007 and closing with Senegal in April 2009. Apart from presentations from the project beneficiary groups, these workshops also included presentations on the development of international organic and fair-trade markets and other certified farmer organizations were also given a platform to share their experiences.


Furthermore, national networks of organic farmers, exporters, fair-trade organizations and other actors were supported. The project workshop in Cameroon resulted in the establishment of a follow-up committee and the project funded a part-time facilitator who runs a lively e-mail discussion on the development of organic and fair-trade sectors in Cameroon.


In Ghana, the project focal point in the Ministry of Agriculture set up an organic desk in her office. Together with the Ghana Organic Agriculture network they conducted a national survey of organic farmers, traders and consumers, financed by the project. The project also supported the Fédération Nationale de l'Agriculture Biologique (FENAB) in Senegal.