Doktorarbeit: Assessing the Impact of Sustainability Standards as a Strategy for Livelihood Sustainability in the Cocoa Industry

Assessing the Impact of Sustainability Standards as a Strategy for Livelihood Sustainability in the Cocoa Industry

in the South West Region of Cameroon

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Schriftenreihe agrarwissenschaftliche Forschungsergebnisse, Band 77

Hamburg , 292 Seiten

ISBN 978-3-339-10276-8 (Print) |ISBN 978-3-339-10277-5 (eBook)

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This study assesses the impact of Fairtrade on the livelihood sustainability of smallholder cocoa producers in the South West region of Cameroon. In Cameroon just like in many other developing countries, the smallholder farmers have deficient strategies with limited production and productivity resulting in vulnerability such as poverty, low resilient level etc. Though there are other factors that might limit production and productivity of the farmers, deficient strategies is noted to be one of the major causes of vulnerability in the cocoa sector in the South West region of Cameroon. The introduction of Fairtrade standard is one of the many sustainable interventions to curb these challenges. The Fairtrade theory assumes that participation of smallholder farmers in Fairtrade can improve their living conditions through capacity building, household income, empowerment, command and control on farm equipment, market assess etc., thereby impacting positively on their strategies. But the reality on the field might not be what is written on paper. If Fairtrade could be this good, why is it that all smallholder farmers are not participating in their programs? Could it be that the programs of Fairtrade do not actually affect the strategies of the participating farmers if compared with conventional farmers? Or is it an issue of holding firm to indigenous habitual practices which have been passing from one generation to another? All these questions and many other could only be answered through empirical study. In contributing to the debate of the impact of Fairtrade programmes on smallholder producers, this research uses a case study approach to discuss the impacts of Fairtrade on smallholder cocoa producers using communities in the South West region of Cameroon as a case study.

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