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Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute is an advisory and research organisation advising in the field of organic agriculture and related areas, such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ. 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, worldwide. We help the private sector, NGOs, governments and (inter)national organisations in the development of niche markets for quality products, notably certified organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ products that often involve large groups of smallholder farmers.
Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute headquarters is based in the Netherlands; it's regional office is established in Ghana to serve the West Africa Region (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Togo). It has been active in Africa since 1990 and dozens of exporters and ten-thousands of smallholder farmers are profiting from the success achieved through higher paying markets that however set high quality standards.
We provide farmer supplier group organisation, conversion planning, technical assistance, research, preparation of grower groups for certification, quality programmes, market studies and linkages between exporters and importers. Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute was involved in the successful implementation of the 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 implemented two organic projects in Eastern region of Ghana: they are, COFA farmers who sold the first organic cocoa in 2007, in the Suhum area (ABOCFA became Fairtrade as well).
Agro Eco- Louis Bolk Institute in partnership with IFOAM is currently implementing the Organic Markets for Development (OM4D) project which aims to create opportunities for smallholder farmers by inclusion into domestic and international organic markets.It uses the opportunity of increasing demand for organic products as an engine for development to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. One of the projects objectives is to Develop high impact value chains for organic products for international markets by enhancing farmer knowledge and farming practices resulting in increased income for smallholder farmers. There are 4 value chains currently being developed in four countries, these are Cassava products (Ghana), fresh and processed Pineapple (Togo), Shea butter (Burkina Faso) and Cocoa (Sao Tom).
Serving West Africa’s need for more sustainable agriculture, Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute supports local organic development through offering the following services;
-Project management e.g. Feasibility studies, impact assessments, proposal writing, project eveluation
- Organic and sustainable agriculture e.g. Impact training in organic agriculture, pest & disease control, organic crop protocols
- Impact training in organic agriculture e.g. Pest & disease control, soil fertility management, Organic crop protocols
- Assistance towards certification e.g. Organic, additional standards: GlobalGAP, Fair Trade, HACCP, Rainforest Alliance, Utz,Climate Smart Cocoa and others
- Farmer organisation e.g. Small-scale capacity building, smallholder group certification, smallholders access to the markets, farmer Field School
- Quality management e.g. Pre & Post-harvest technology, Cold chain handling & management, Quality assessment
- Agricultural interventions e.g. Child labour issues, gender and women business, alternative livelihoods and youth team development, schoolgardens and vegetable growing, soil fertility and micro organi
- Marketing e.g. Market surveys, buyer contacts and trade shows