“Even though we were cultivating rice before 2015, it was mainly for subsistence,” explains Esi, a farmer from the Ninkyiso community in Ghana. As part of the International Cocoa Initiative’s Community Development Programme, she joined a women’s group dedicated to rice growing. The group received rice, fertilisers and training from the local agricultural service.

The group was a success and went on to win a local award, but importantly, it also brought benefits for the community’s children. “The rice cultivation has given us extra income to take care of our children in their schooling,” Esi continues.

Working with farmers like Esi, their families and wider cocoa communities, to create conditions that benefit livelihoods and protect children is a core part of our work at ICI. Income Generating Activities are a vital part of this.

In this short film we learn the stories of some of those who have benefitted from Income Generating Activities across three cocoa-growing communities in Ghana. We witness Mercy, and other women in the community of Mpaem, learning an artisanal trade to support their children’s education; we also discover how a palm oil press means that Victoria’s children no longer have to miss school to help on the family farm.