Côte d’Ivoire


Côte d'Ivoire has taken great initial strides to recover from the post-electoral crisis that shook the nation in 2011, yet significant challenges remain. Key among them are revitalizing the agricultural sector and addressing youth unemployment.

Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa, and a significant producer and exporter of cashews, coffee, rubber and palm oil. Seventy percent of Ivoirians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but yields remain low and incomes are highly vulnerable to fluctuations in international commodity prices. Meanwhile, 25 percent of the nation’s under-40 youth is unemployed, threatening peace and stability in the resurgent state. The government has set an ambitious goal of creating one million jobs by 2016. TechnoServe is working in partnership with the public and private sector to sustainably increase the incomes of small-scale cashew and cocoa farmers.


Since 2009, TechnoServe has executed three business plan competitions that have supported young entrepreneurs to launch or grow 149 businesses that have created approximately 997 jobs. It has linked over 3,000 smallholder cocoa farmers to yield doubling inputs, and bolstered the cashew processing industry to generate $5 million in new revenues for smallholder growers.


Cocoa Farmers Band Together For Profits

Members of the Muoho cooperative in western Ghana are increasing their cocoa yields and their incomes after working with TechnoServe in the WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program.

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On The Ground



Technical Assistance Facility

TechnoServe serves as the manager of the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), which supports the African Agriculture Fund, a private equity fund, to address food security challenges across Africa. TAF provides technical assistance to small and growing businesses (SGBs) invested in by the African Agriculture Fund, and improves linkages between enterprises and smallholder outgrowers.
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Promoting Entrepreneurship

25 percent (or five million) of Ivoirians under 40 are unemployed. Each year, these unemployed Ivoirians are joined by half a million new job seekers, threatening to destabilize the nation’s road to peace and economic recovery. In 2010, TechnoServe launched a business plan competition to empower young entrepreneurs to start businesses and create sustainable jobs. The competition, “Un Projet, Des Emplois, J’y Crois” (I Believe in Projects for Jobs) targets graduates in Abidjan and Bouaké and has helped 260 entrepreneurs develop business plans and assisted 149 businesses to launch, creating nearly 997 jobs. These businesses have achieved turnover of nearly $6.5 million in 2011 and 2012 and have attracted over $1.1 million in private investment.

Supporting the Cashew Sector

TechnoServe is working with the German Agency for International Cooperation and Development (GIZ) under the African Cashew Initiative (ACI) project to strengthen and expand the cashew processing industry in Cote d’Ivoire. As a result of TechnoServe’s work between 2009 and 2012, ACI processors have sustained over 3,500 jobs, generated over $5 million in wages and have sold an additional 4,100 metric tons of kernel worth over $33.5 million. ACI is a multi-year program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to strengthen the competitiveness of cashew value chains in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana Benin, Burkina Faso and Mozambique. ACI aims to improve the livelihoods of cashew communities in target countries by helping farmers to increase their incomes and helping processors to increase the volumes of raw cashew nuts processed, thereby increasing the number of jobs in these communities.

In 2013, TechnoServe signed a contract with the United Nations for Industrial Development (UNIDO) to improve the competitiveness of the cashew sector and facilitate its access to export markets in Côte d'Ivoire. The specific purpose of the mission is (i) to improve the productivity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives and (ii) initiate the process of establishing a quality label "cashew kernel of Côte d'Ivoire". The beneficiaries are members of a consortium export and all SMEs and cooperatives processing cashew.


Improving Livelihoods through Cocoa

TechnoServe is a key implementer in the Cocoa Livelihoods Program (CLP), which seeks to double the incomes of one third of West African cocoa farming households within 10 years. Agricultural inputs, especially fertilizers, which can double cocoa farmers’ yields, will play a critical role. Since 2009, TechnoServe has trained nearly 5,000 Ivoirian farmers on input application and credit management. By brokering innovative risk sharing agreements between cocoa exporters, input suppliers and lenders, TechnoServe has facilitated credit for nearly 4,600 Ivoirian cocoa farmers who have maintained an impressive 100% repayment rate, even during the political crisis.

From 2012 to 2013, TechnoServe scaled the credit scheme significantly in Côte d’Ivoire – nearly quadrupling the value of credit disbursed, doubling the number of participating cooperatives and increasing the percentage of borrowers receiving fertilizers from three percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2013. TechnoServe also completed the integration of microfinance partner, Advans Cote d’Ivoire, into the credit system in 2013 and secured refinancing from Kiva. TechnoServe has continued to scale the CLP credit scheme in Ghana, where it has facilitated input credit to over 5,300 cocoa farmers over the life of the program. This brings the total farmers receiving credit over the life of the CLP to nearly 10,000.


Improving Cocoa Productivity and Food Security

In parallel to the Cocoa Livelihoods Program (CLP), TechnoServe is a key implementer in the African Cocoa Initiative (ACI), which aims to institutionalize effective public and private sector models for sustainable productivity growth and improve food security on cocoa farms in West and Central Africa. Under ACI, TechnoServe is leveraging its learnings from the CLP input credit scheme to demonstrate a commercially viable credit model for cocoa smallholders linked to spray service providers, which assure the safety and effectiveness of agricultural input application. So far, TechnoServe’s ACI input credit scheme has facilitated credit to over 200 cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire and nearly 160 in Nigeria.

Training Cocoa Cooperative Executives

The Coop Academy is helping to create a professional and sustainable cocoa industry that benefits communities and strengthens the Ivorian economy. The business skills program will provide cocoa farmer cooperative executives with the management skills to make their organizations more professional, efficient and successful. The Coop Academy will target 460 leaders of 115 cocoa cooperatives installed in the country over four years.



Blog Posts

December 27, 2013

Photo of the Week: Happy Holidays!

From our family to yours: Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

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September 28, 2012

Photo of the Week: Higher Incomes from Cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

In Divo, Côte d’Ivoire, cocoa is critical to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. TechnoServe is helping farmers to realize the full value of their crops.

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September 13, 2012

World Bank President Visits TechnoServe Program in Côte d’Ivoire

In his first overseas trip as World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim visited Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa last week. During his time in Côte d’Ivoire, Kim visited a youth training center, where he met a group of young entrepreneurs who are receiving training through a TechnoServe business plan competition.

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Côte d'Ivoire

6 rue Paris Village Abidjan Plateau
Tél. +225 20 21 49 15
Fax. +225 20 21 28 18

Désiré D. Bankole

Country Director