University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


While billions of dollars flow into low-income countries each year to ease poverty, assessing their effectiveness beyond the life of a development program proves challengin. In 2009, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) undertook the Cocoa Livelihoods Program (CLP) to strengthen cocoa-growing communities with training and credit programs. Using primary 2010-2011 production data collected in Ghana, this study estimates the net present value (NPV) change associated with CLP training over 50 years (two cocoa tree life cycles), assuming producers can utilize what they have learned well after the courses are completed. Applying regression analyses to determine the effect of CLP on yield, findings suggest that average cocoa yield increased 75.24%, resulting in a NPV increase of $401.00 per hectare annually. Given that it costs WCF $252 per participant, this equates to a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 79.56:1, or $79.56 dollars in additional cocoa producer profit for every dollar WCF invests into poverty reduction. .