Improving the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers
Due to poor farming practices and culture cocoa SHFs in Sierra Leone find it difficult to compete with their peers in other West African Countries. For example, the average yield for cocoa by a farmer in Sierra Leone is (100kg-140kg per hectare) while in neighbouring Ghana (400 kg per hectare) and Ivory Coast (500 kg per hectare). Another challenge facing cocoa farmers in Sierra Leone is low income (average of $200/year) which is a result of a lack of access to the market and dealing with middlemen (aka Super Agents, sub-agents) who rip them off by pricing them low of their products and selling to off-takers and exporters at a higher price.
Lizard Earth provides essential, year-round farm-level services to smallholder producers, often in collaboration with donor partners. The business has developed a plantation management model that fosters talented smallholders to grow into successful agri-entrepreneurs who will have the capacity to independently manage sectors of the company’s plantation.