We aim to increase the involvement of women in cocoa farming, which is why we started the CAA Women Empowerment programme in December 2017. For this programme, we work closely with Mars and the UTZ Sector Partnership Programme. It works by facilitating women’s access to CAA membership and by endorsing their leadership in cocoa production.
In the past ten years, women made up 20% to 23% of our members, which was a very encouraging sign.. In 2019, we even reached 29%, helped greatly by our various initiatives. The CAA would like to see this number reflected in female participation throughout all services and in all leadership roles, with matching income levels.
To achieve these goals, much improvement is needed: better information, communication, and capacity building, all based on the expressed needs of both female and male farmers. This will lead to more sustainable and equitable cocoa production, with greater recognition for the important role women play in cocoa farming.
Our Women Empowerment programme focuses on capacity building and coaching. It is adapted to the (training) needs of female leaders and members, who are accompanied by CAA staff in the field and supported by effective services.
As more women become involved in cocoa production, they will prompt behavioural change from the inside out. This will have a positive influence on the production chain and linked business development services. The better the position of our female and male members, the better the results. This goes for all conditions related to cocoa production, such as credit repayment, farm investments, technology use, and services. The end result is increased income and an improved livelihood for all farmers.
We have defined these five long-term targets for the programme:
- Fair access to all of our services for current and potential female CAA members.
- Improved land tenure security for our female farmers.
- Improved participation of female farmers in CAA.
- Improved productivity, livelihood, and income for all female CAA members.
- Improved leadership and decision-making power for female CAA members.