Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute is an advisory and research organisation advising in the field of organic agriculture and related areas, such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance. It works with, and strengthens links between, all aspects of the organic chain: farmers, processors, traders and consumers. Our advisors provide a package of services for primary production, processing and marketing, world wide. We help the private sector, NGOs, governments and international organisations in the development of niche markets for quality products, notably certified organic, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance products that often involve large groups of smallholder farmers.
Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute headquarters is based in the Netherlands; regional office is established in Ghana to serve the West Africa Region (Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo). It has been active in Africa since 1990 and tens of exporters and ten-thousands of smallholder farmers are profiting from the access achieved to higher paying markets that however set high quality standards.
We provide farmer supplier group organisation, conversion planning, technical assistance, research, preparation of grower group certification, quality programmes, market studies and linkages between exporters and importers. We provide access to markets that pay premium prices for quality. Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute is involved in the successful Export Promotion of Organic Products from Africa (EPOPA) programme in East Africa.
On cocoa in Ghana, Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute is working with Cocobod to create a set of regulations on the production, mobilisation and selling of organic cocoa. We have four organic projects in Ashanti en Eastern region: COFA farmers which have sold the first organic cocoa in 2007, Suhum area (ABOCFA became Fairtrade as well) where we work with IUCN on biodiversity as well and Atwima Mponua District where we look at Payment for Ecosystem Services (like carbon sequestration, natural habitats, buffer zones and corridors): Tano and Ntobroso farmer organisations.
Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute was representative for Rainforest Alliance in Ghana. We work on local indicators and in projects with Mars and Gates Foundation. We now develop projects with the emphasis on climate smart agriculture, biodiversity and work with a landscape approach. Innovative ideas and interventions to improve the livelihoods of the farmer in all their complexity.
Serving West Africa’s need for more sustainable agriculture, Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute supports local organic development through offering the following services:
- Feasibility studies
- Impact assessments
- Proposal writing
- Project evaluation
Organic and sustainable agriculture
- Impact training in organic agriculture
- Pest & disease control
- Soil fertility management
- Organic crop protocols
Assistance towards certification
- Organic certification procedures
- Certification to additional standards: GlobalGAP, Fair Trade, HACCP, Rainforest Alliance, Utz, and others
- Internal Control and Monitoring System (ICS)
- Small-scale capacity building
- Smallholder group certification
- Smallholders access to the markets
- Farmer Field Schools
- Pre & Post-harvest technologies
- Cold chain handling & management
- Quality assessment
- child labour issues
- gender and women business
- alternative livelihoods and youth team development