WHERE : Liberia
As part of the five-year World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)-funded Cocoa Livelihoods Program, Tanager (operating then as ASI) provided technical assistance to women members of a Liberian farmers association to transform otherwise discarded cocoa husks into commercially viable products and fielded an expert volunteer to undertake a cocoa genetic materials assessment.
Tanager took a market systems approach and leveraged grant funds to develop and transfer innovative technology for the commercial processing of cocoa pod husks. The intent was to expand the income-generation capacity of female members of the Sebelhill Kulasunumai Cocoa Farmers Association (SEKUFA). The large volume of waste cocoa pod husks that accumulate after harvest was used for commercial production and marketing of black soap and dyes used in locally made tie-dyed material.
Tanager also liaised with the Liberian government and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to field a USDA volunteer to undertake a comprehensive genetic materials assessment. The volunteer reviewed currently available cocoa varieties, the capacity of current infrastructure (research organizations, nurseries, etc.), the cocoa regulatory environment, and importation options and recommended steps to improve the genetic quality and quantity of Liberia’s cocoa.
Tanager improved livelihoods in Liberia by training farmers to create valuable products from previously discarded agroforestry products.
- Tanager increased incomes of the 142 female members of SEFUKA by providing technical assistance and training to create and market soap and tie-dye products.
- This activity also increased female membership, involvement, and leadership in SEKUFA.
- Tanager’s sponsored genetic assessment assisted the Liberian government to evaluate potentially far-reaching regulatory changes, investments, and research opportunities in the cocoa sector.