Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 2/11

Increasing Income of Ghanaian Cocoa Farmers: Is Introduction of Fine Flavour Cocoa a Viable Alternative

James Gockowski and Victor Afari-Sefa
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Accra, Ghana

Daniel Bruce Sarpong and Yaw B. Osei-Asare
University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Ambrose K. Dziwornu
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Accra, Ghana


Consumers’ taste and preference for differentiated cocoa based on darkness and flavour quality has been rising over the years. Added value of such specialty cocoa is expressed by consumers’ willingness to pay more than the standard commodity price for the attributes and associations such as augmented health benefits that differentiate the product. Conventional cocoa production systems often planted with local landraces and to some extent hybrids often have low yields that cannot match farmers’ investment decisions. An ex ante analysis of fine flavour cocoa was investigated for Ghana vis-à-vis existing farming conditions, using economic decision criteria. Fine flavour cocoa is differentiated on the basis of clonal planting material as opposed to regular pods and by its superior flavour qualities at during post-harvest handling. Results of hypothetical fine flavour systems are compared with business-as-usual systems with high input fine flavour system emerging as clear winner in terms of profitability. Sensitivity analysis shows that increasing percentage of producer price with fertiliser subsidies dramatically improves farmers’ income.

Keywords: fine flavour cocoa, ex-ante cost-benefit analysis, speciality cocoa production, smallholder livelihood

JEL: D1, Q12, Q15, Q17, Q18

Vol. 50 (2011), No. 2: 175-200