SNV is engaged in projects with smallholder cocoa farmers in the districts Juabeso and Bia West in the Western North region of Ghana. To help smallholders improve their incomes in a sustainable manner, Financial Access Consulting Services (FACS) was engaged to help catalyze commercial finance into the landscape to support better use of inputs and eventually towards cocoa replanting and post replanting management services. In the short run this will be addressed by working closely with local financial institutions (FIs) to enhance their operations and procedures and help them supply input financing to smallholders. In the long run, a more holistic approach, combining investors, FIs, value chain actors and smalholders groups will be needed to operationalize a replanting finance scheme.
The activities undertaken by FACS are aimed at understanding the conditions, challenges and opportunities in the landscape and to help design and operationalize innovative financing schemes in the landscape. This can only be done by identifying institutional gaps in current replanting schemes, building and understanding of the credit needs of farmers, and quantifying the costs and risks to FIs in engaging with smallholders. In addressing these challenges and leveraging the strengths present in the area and within the various institutions, can an innovative financing scheme be designed that presents a strong, low cost and low risk investment case to all actors involved, giving them the tools and confidence to invest in smallholders. The reports, of which this one is the first, highlight various aspects of the activities and analysis undertaken and the insights learned.