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; regional office is established in Ghana to serve the West Africa Region (Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, 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 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 and Eastern region: they are, COFA farmers who sold the first organic cocoa in 2007, Suhum area (ABOCFA became Fairtrade 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 farmers’ organisation.
Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute is implementing projects with FiBL (Research on the productivity of Organic Agriculture) and IFOAM (strengthening the Organic sector in West African countries). We 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.
Agro Eco together with IFOAM is currently developing value chains on cassava (Ghana), pineapple (Togo), sheanut (Burkina Faso) and cocoa (Sao Tome & Principe). The objective of the project (Organic Markets for Development, OM4D) is to strengthen the national organic movements and the domestic organic market (PGS) in these four countries.
Slogan: "We offer solutions in sustainable agriculture for livelihood improvement.”
Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute also partners with Stel & Van Koot to develop a sustainable value chain for tigernuts (organic from Ghana) and source these tigernuts of high quality for the food industry.
Serving West Africa’s need for more sustainable agriculture, Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute supports local organic development through offering the following services.
- 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, 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