Advanced Value Chain Collaboration in Ghana's Cocoa Sector: An Entry Point for Integrated Landscape Approaches?

Environ Manage. 2018 Jul;62(1):143-156. doi: 10.1007/s00267-017-0863-y. Epub 2017 Apr 15.


Value chain analyses have focused mainly on collaboration between chain actors, often neglecting collaboration "beyond the chain" with non-chain actors to tackle food security, poverty and sustainability issues in the landscapes in which these value chains are embedded. Comparing conventional and advanced value chain collaborations involving small-scale cocoa farmers in Ghana, this paper analyzes the merits of a more integrated approach toward value chain collaboration. It particularly asks whether advanced value chain collaboration targeting cocoa-producing areas potentially offers an entry point for implementing a landscape approach. The findings detail current chain actors and institutions and show how advanced value chain collaboration has a greater positive impact than conventional value chain collaboration on farmers' social, human and natural capital. The paper concludes that the integrated approach, focus on learning, and stable relationships with small-scale farmers inherent in advanced value chain collaboration makes it both more sustainable and effective at the local level than conventional approaches. However, its scope and the actors' jurisdictional powers and self-organization are too limited to be the sole tool in negotiating land use and trade-offs at the landscape level. To evolve as such would require certification beyond the farm level, partnering with other landscape stakeholders, and brokering by bridging organizations.

Keywords: Ghana; Value chain collaboration; cocoa; landscape approaches; public-private-producer partnerships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cacao / growth & development*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / economics*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Food Supply
  • Forestry / economics
  • Forestry / organization & administration*
  • Ghana
  • Humans
  • Poverty
  • Public-Private Sector Partnerships*