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Demystifying the Cocoa Sector in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

This major study aims to contribute to the cocoa sector’s body of knowledge and provide a solid evidence base to test common assumptions and beliefs. 

The research covers issues such as household demographics, food security and nutrition, and crop choices and crop diversification. Specific to cocoa, the study investigates why households grow cocoa, and analyses the major aspects of cocoa production and marketing. Household wealth, income and poverty is also assessed, and further disaggregated in a cluster analysis. The study also looks at intra-household dynamics which are brought together in a gender chapter.

Fieldwork was carried out in the cocoa growing regions of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in late 2016 and early 2017. A random sample of approximately 1500 households surveys were collected in each country. This was complemented by 37 focus group discussions in each country.

To advance the sector’s access to data and knowledge, the researchers have made the dataset available for download on this page. We encourage other researchers, governments, companies and NGOs to make use of it in their own programmes and policy development.

Download the complete report, or individual chapters below.


  1. Introduction: Download
  2. Methodology: Download
  3. Demographics: Download
  4. Food security and nutrition: Download
  5. Crop choices and diversification: Download
  6. Land: Download
  7. The importance of cocoa: Download
  8. Cocoa production practices: Download
  9. Cocoa farmer groups, certification and training: Download
  10. Cocoa productivity and yield: Download
  11. Cocoa marketing and prices: Download
  12. Household income, poverty and wealth: Download
  13. Farmer Profiles and Cluster Analysis: Download
  14. Gender and Cocoa Download
  15. Conclusions Download
  16. References Download

Suggested citation: Bymolt, R., Laven, A., Tyszler, M. (2018). Demystifying the cocoa sector in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).


Changes made by the researchers after the first publication of the study are described here: Change Log


The authors welcome notifications on errors.


Data navigator (browser based data viewer):

The data navigator provides easy-to-access summaries of statistics and graphic visualisations of the survey data. With a few clicks, users can easily see distributions, comparisons across countries, the gender of the head of a household, and cocoa producing households and non-cocoa producing households. The navigator is meant for any researcher or stakeholder and is a perfect entry point for those who want to “dig” into the data.

Full database (for analysis in STATA, SPSS, R)

KIT has made the micro-data from 3,045 household surveys in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire publicly available through Dataverse. The data set includes 1,252 socio-economic, agricultural and cocoa specific variables – such as household composition, income sources, and the production and sale of crops – as well as detailed data on cocoa production. In Dataverse you will find the full technical documentation of the set, the downloadable data set in STATA format, and the supporting do-files that generated the file. This repository is meant for an advanced user with statistics and statistical software skills.

Research locations

Researcher contributions

Roger Bymolt
Anna Laven
Marcelo Tyszler
Core research team
Cedric SteijnResearch team Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, desk study author
Abdul Razak (ALC)Local consultant, Ghana
Roger Tanou (ALP)Local consultant, Côte d’Ivoire
Eline MinnebooResearch team Ghana
Chloe VaastResearch team Côte d’Ivoire
Genevieve Audet-BelangerResearch team Côte d’Ivoire
Bas Buurman, Johanna Brinkman, Emmanuel Jesse Sarbeng and Myriam YeoStudents and assistants, funded by GISCO

Knowledge partners

The following knowledge partners have contributed their expertise and knowledge in various ways, such as through fieldwork, knowledge sharing and peer review. The author’s interpretations of the data are not necessarily shared by the knowledge partners.

Friedel Hütz-Adams (Sudwind) &  
François Ruf (CIRAD)

Links for research partners:



Additional research outputs

Services delivered