Three men working with cocoa beans

Reviving Cocoa in Tanzania

Cocoa production began in Tanzania in the late 1960s, yet has not been significantly promoted or developed as a cash crop in the past 40 years. TechnoServe, supported by a grant from Irish Aid, is working with farmers to improve post-harvest handling and better position farmer groups as credible sellers.

With global demand for cocoa rising and West Africa encountering challenges in its cocoa production, buyers have reconnected with Tanzania’s cocoa producers. TechnoServe, supported by a grant from Irish Aid, has trained more than 13,000 farmers to adopt good agricultural practices and seen production increases of greater of 50 percent. Sixty-six farmer business groups have been established and trained to process high-quality cocoa through better post-harvest handling, and many of these groups are now receiving price premiums of more than 20 percent above the prevailing market price. The cocoa exporters, input suppliers, and governments in cocoa-growing districts served as key partners for TechnoServe. TechnoServe partnered with the national government and other stakeholders to develop a Tanzanian National Cocoa Development Strategy and will continue to work with the industry to reach the Strategy’s targets.

The project adopted a market systems facilitation approach and aimed to increase government, input supplier, and exporter investment in farmer productivity to sustain the production improvements that TechnoServe and Irish Aid helped to create.