About SSAB

Welcome to the relaunched website of the Sustainable Smallholder Agri-Business Programme (SSAB)!
The Programme was launched in 2009, and is implemented in five African countries (see interactive map). Since 2014, the Cocoa-Food Link programme is implemented with support of European Union. Cocoa is one of the main agricultural products and export good of the five project countries. Over three million smallholders produce three quarters of the world cocoa supply. Yields for cocoa and food crops remain low due to lack of technical and entrepreneurial skills, limited access to inputs, technical and financial services. Moreover, the high dependency on cocoa as source of income and price volatility lead to impoverishment, malnutrition and social problems such as child labour. The daily per capita income in cocoa smallholdings is below 1.69 USD. The goal of SSAB is to increase the incomes of 475,000 cocoa smallholders (35% women) and to improve food supply from diversified production. SSAB builds on strong partnerships with over 50 organizations and companies. The main activities include:

  • Support to public and private extension services to provide business skills training to smallholders following Farmer Business School approach,
  • Improve the access to inputs, market information and financial services,
  • Support cost-effective extension of viable Good Agricultural Practice including ICT-media to intensify cocoa and food production,
  • Enhance learning on proven approaches and upgrading of sector strategies and
  • Support interested programmes, organizations and enterprises to introduce the Farmer Business School approach in African countries.

Latest News

Agribusiness4Change Conference Video


Check out our conference video of the Agribusiness4Change Conference.


Shaping rural transformation and inclusive agricultural growth - Agribusiness4Change Conference


On 7 to 9 May 2019, more than 160 participants from 20 countries attended the Agribusines4Change conference in Addis Ababa to discuss how to shape rural transformation and inclusive agricultural growth with the focus on youth.


Farmer Business School has come to stay in Africa




trained farmers


trained women

yield increase

59 % for cocoa

106 % for maize


job opportunities created*

>15,200,000 €

official development assistance (oda)

>7,700,000 €

private partners funding

>7,000,000 €

public partners funding

cooperation with


private & public partners

Status: 12/2018

Since the project started in 2009, SSAB had a significant impact on the livelihoods of cocoa smallholder. The holistic promotion of the cocoa and several food crop value chains contributes directly to several SDGs. Application rates between 57% and 87% of good practices learned in trainings by 480,679 farmers trained in Farmer Business School (FBS) and 196,279 in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) contributed to significant yield increases: 59% for cocoa and 106% for maize. Moreover, more than 285,000 jobs were created in the frame of the programme. This constitutes a significant contribution to SDG 1: to end poverty in all its forms.

The mentioned increases in food crop production as well as awareness raising and knowledge transfer on good nutrition furthermore means that the programme works towards the end of hunger and the achievement of food security (SDG 2).

Following a multi-stakeholder approach, SSAB works closely with more than 50 partners from the private sector, civil societies, research institutes and government institutions, build a partnership for the goals of the agenda 2030 (SDG 17). SSAB blends 15,200,000 € official development aid (ODA) with 7,000,000 € African public partner contributions and 7,700,000 € private partner funding.

Creating jobs, increasing incomes in production which leads to improved food security, as well as the activation of partner contributions, the programme also contributes to the cornerstones formulated in the “Marshall Plan with Africa”, released by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).