Annan, Adjoa Tsetsewa: Quality Enhancement in Cocoa Production : a Study of the Cocoa Sector of Ghana. - Bonn, 2022. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Adjoa Tsetsewa Annan}},
title = {Quality Enhancement in Cocoa Production : a Study of the Cocoa Sector of Ghana},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2022,
month = jul,

note = {The cocoa value chain emphasises farmers' poor environmental, social, and post-harvesting practices during cocoa beans production. These poor quality practices raise ethical and environmental issues in cocoa production and affect finished products' food quality. Thus, there is a proliferation of industry, certification, and sustainability standards to address quality and ethical issues in cocoa production. These initiatives create a positive impression on the cocoa end-market and inform consumers when buying chocolate and other confectionery. Given this, the study sets to understand how cocoa and chocolate companies implement quality standards in growing communities to enhance environmental, social, and post-harvesting practices in cocoa production. Concerning this, the study seeks to examine knowledge sharing on quality enhancement technologies. It also examines the assessment process of farmers' compliance with quality standards. Therefore, literature and theory on the value chain, standards, and extension, are reviewed to understand the interplay of knowledge sharing and assessment of quality standards in value chains. The study employed a qualitative methodology to assess the promotion of quality enhancement in two communities in the Ashanti region of Ghana. In-depth interviews, focus group discussion, participatory observation, and net-mapping were used to collect empirical data from key respondents. These respondents include certified and conventional farmers, cocoa and chocolate companies, non-governmental organisations, purchasing clerks, cocoa scientists, extension agents, and Ghana Cocoa Board. The implementation of quality standards in the cocoa sector, is an issue of governance, specifically, loosely coordination of activities. Precisely, the characteristics of loosely coordinated activities concerning the implementation of quality standards in the cocoa sector, comprise weak communication among actors, inadequate information and knowledge sharing, lack of monitoring and control of activities and actors. Due to the absence of strict coordination of extension services and quality standards assessment, there was an overall low impact of quality enhancement programmes on farmers' quality practices. Specifically, there was inadequate knowledge sharing on environmental, social, and post-harvesting practices. Therefore, farmers' quality practices also showed mixed results. Certified male and female farmers struggled to comply with environmental standards on agrochemical application and farm sanitation. Nonetheless, both male and female certified farmers complied with social standards on child labour and slavery. Both certified and conventional farmers struggled to comply with all standards under post-harvesting. The quality standard assessment employed to monitor farmers' conformity to standards was lenient, reducing farmers' quality consciousness. Concerning quality assessment on certification programmes, many farms went unaudited, and there were insufficient tools to monitor farmers' practices on environmental and social standards. In like manner, during cocoa beans purchasing, inferior cocoa beans were accepted. However, competition for farmers in the sector was a factor that influenced lenient quality assessment. It also led to the establishment of informal power relations between farmers and cocoa and chocolate companies. Even though at the cocoa end-market, quality standards are portrayed as a useful tool to eradicate poor quality practices in cocoa production, its implementation in the growing communities did not improve farmers' quality practices in the studied communities.},
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