Economic Opportunity

Improving livelihoods

Many of the 2.6 million smallholder farmers in our direct and indirect sourcing supply chain battle with low yields, uncertain weather, poor infrastructure and changes in global market pricing. As a result, some tread a fine line between success and failure. They can struggle to break even, let alone grow their businesses. Large-scale farmers, like those from whom we source onions and garlic in the USA, also face challenges regarding climate change, water security and cost of production.


Improving economic opportunities for farmers is critical to building a more sustainable supply chain. Work in this area contributes towards the UN’s Sustainability Development Goal 1 and 2, which aim to end poverty and hunger. We help farmers improve their economic opportunities with agricultural training to increase yields and quality, business training, premium payments, and 0% or low% short, medium and long-term interest loans.

With our customers and other partners, we focus on:

  • Helping farmers to achieve a better income and closing the gap on living income

  • Providing training on Good Agricultural Practices

  • Providing access to finance, agri-inputs like fertilizer and seeds, and labor-saving tools and equipment

  • Offering business management training and support for farmer collectives and co-operatives 

  • Making sure farmers have access to digital tools that connect them to the business and market information they need 

  • Helping communities to diversify and develop extra sources of income

Goals and progress

We report on our progress in our 2020 annual report. We have also set dedicated strategies and goals for cocoacoffeecashew and dairy.

Here’s a snapshot of initiatives and partners we’re involved with to improve economic opportunities for farmers: 


Monitoring through AtSource+

AtSource+ allows customers to track metrics related to the economic opportunities of specific farmer groups. These metrics can include:


  • Average yield of a given farmer group 

  • Number of farmers trained in Good Agricultural Practices and the average change in productivity change for farmers who have completed the training

  • Number of farmers to receive a Farm Development Plan: personalized advice based on data designed to improve productivity on their farm 

  • Volumes of seeds, seedlings and fertilizer distributed to farmers

  • Value of farm support equipment distributed

  • Loans provided to farmers and workers


The AtSource dashboard also allows you to see how metrics change over time so you can understand the impact ofi programs have on farmers’ economic opportunities.

Farmer segmentation - success stories in africa

The diversity of farm sizes, yields, skills, and economic context in our supply chains, means that interventions are more effective when tailored to each farmer’s reality. By applying a segmentation model to ofi’s extension services, we can tailor training and support to farmer’s economic circumstances and willingness to invest.


Since applying a segmentation model to extension services in our cashew supply chain in Ghana in 2021, over 400 cashew farmers have recorded a 55% yield increase following the adoption of advice from ofi agronomists on timely pruning and pest management. The model, which is also being applied in some of our coffee supply chains, allows our field teams to tailor training and support to farmers’ economic circumstances, farm type and willingness to invest.

Read ofi news

ofi targets to tackle poverty and scale up sustainability in global cashew supply chains

Today Olam Food Ingredients (“ofi”), one of the world’s largest suppliers of ingredients* from almonds to black pepper, has published sustainability targets to tackle the biggest challenges in the global cashew supply chain, starting with farmer livelihoods.

Ghanian female farmer harvesting cashews
Collaboration on living incomes

Key to unlocking a sustainable future for cocoa.

Group of woman opening cashew plant
How local cashew processing can be a catalyst for sustainable growth

By Arouna Coulibaly, Managing Director Côte d’Ivoire, ofi (olam food ingredients)


Snack bars, spreads, nut-milks, cookies, and other sweet treats; cashew is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient across applications from bakery to beverages, feeding demand for healthier snacking options and plant-based proteins.

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We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today.