Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute is an independent advisory organisation based in the Netherlands but with branch offices in various African countries, including in Accra, Ghana, which serves the West African region.
Agro Eco-LBI advises the private sector, NGOs, governments and international organisations in the development of niche markets for quality products. It has been active in Africa since 1990 and tens of exporters and ten-thousands of smallholder farmers are profiting from the access achieved to higher paying markets that however set high quality standards. We provide support for farmer supplier group organisation, conversion planning, technical assistance, research, preparation of grower group certification, quality programmes, market studies and linkages between exporters and importers to advance truly sustainable Agriculture and environment. Farms with a future.
We have been existent in Ghana for more than 15 years, working together with farmers, farmer organisations, authorities, cocoa buyers, chocolate makers, NGOs, universities and research bodies to make cocoa farming more sustainable.
In the past 30 years Agro Eco has worked throughout Africa in developing certified value chains of all kinds of commodities. Originally in organic, sometimes Fairtrade, currently more in Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified (or a combination of these), or in projects using specific requirements. Currently the focus is in Ghana, where, besides fruits and vegetables, cocoa is the mainstay of our work.
Agro Eco – LBI has a value chain approach. This means that there is a market with requirements which farmers have to fulfil. We set up value chains, solving all kinds of challenges and once they are up and running we identify and improve on the bottlenecks. We work on inputs, on planting materials, on registration of shade trees. We work with farmers, both men and women. We work on farmer organization, with processors, the markets and build capacity. We train those who train thousands of cocoa farmers. We introduce innovative approaches within our projects, like setting up youth teams, introducing grafting, giving impact training. We develop information management systems so we can monitor performance and impact.
In Ghana, Agro Eco has managed and implemented over 10 major sustainable cocoa projects and others in biodiversity, gender, livelihood improvement, research and knowledge etc.
With these strategies, Agro Eco has become household name in Project Management in sustainable agriculture in Ghana, West Africa and East Africa.