Income Accelerator Programme

Country: Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, where about 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa is grown, poverty among cocoa farming households is a key driver of child labour. ETG | Beyond Beans is working with Nestlé, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, IDH, the Rainforest Alliance, and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) on the Income Accelerator Programme (IAP), an innovative intervention, which aims to address child labour, decrease poverty, promote income diversification, and push for more gender equality in cocoa supply chains. 

The programme is built around four annual cash transfers that are conditional to stimulate behavioural change. The money is sent to farmers’ phones, with half going to the husband and half to the wife, allowing women to spend or invest the money as they see fit. For each of the four conditions met, they receive around €100. Those who meet all four conditions receive a €100 bonus. This means farmers will receive €500 a year if they meet the necessary conditions, more than a fifth of the income of an average cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire, who earn around €2,100 a year.

The four conditions are:

  1. Reducing child labour risks by assisting school attendance and monitoring
  2. Helping farmers improve cocoa production by training and subsidising pruning groups
  3. Improving farm resilience by providing forest and fruit trees
  4. Becoming less dependent on cocoa by supporting families to grow other crops and raise livestock
  5. An additional bonus for engaging in all of the four incentivized practices

The programme was announced in 2022 after a successful pilot with 1,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire. In 2023, the test at scale phase covering 10,000 cocoa-farming families in Côte d’Ivoire assessed the programme’s impact before further rollout in Côte d’Ivoire and expansion to Ghana.

Results of the scale-up phase

Under the Accelerator programme, Beyond Beans has set up pruning groups, distributed seedlings, established Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), and introduced digitised incentive payments within cocoa communities.

Following the completion of the test at scale phase, the aim is to triple the size of the programme by rolling out to 100% of the Nestlé supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The ambition is to reach an estimated 160,000 cocoa-farming families by 2030.