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Impact assessment: PAPAFPA and PAPAC

The Participatory Smallholder Agriculture and Artisanal Fisheries Development Programme (PAPAFPA) and the Smallholder Commercial Agriculture Project (PAPAC) are complementary projects designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholders in Sao Tomé and Príncipe. PAPAFPA, which has now closed, created farmers’ cooperatives to improve the development of organic cacao, coffee, and pepper value chains through increased commercialization in domestic and niche export markets.

Farmers were provided with inputs and expert advice on organic techniques to increase the quantity and quality of their production. More than 3200 households continued to benefit through the activities of PAPAC, which  helped to establish family plantations to supply produce for each of the three value chains. An impact assessment of PAPAFPA and PAPAC was conducted in 2018. The assessment used a mixed-methods approach that combined two quantitative household-level surveys and a qualitative survey.

Key impact estimates

An impact estimate is calculated as the difference in mean outcomes between the treatment groups (project participants) and the comparison group (non-participants).

The impact assessment showed positive impacts on agricultural production and productivity, household income and assets, food security and commercialization. Results include:

Main lessons

The evidence from this impact assessment generated a number of  lessons that can inform future project design as well as country strategies and policies:

  • Future projects should consider investments further along the value chain, for example in  processing facilities, in order to sustainably increase farmers' revenues from higher-value-added products like cacao/coffee powder or chocolate.  
  • Project activities that focus on farmers' professional development or on local infrastructure are more likely to generate positive spill-overs, such as increases in yields and sales, to crops and livestock beyond the project scope than do activities targeting specific crops.
  • Future projects should expand the number of international buyers purchasing farmers' produce from their cooperatives at minimum guaranteed prices in order to strengthen farmers' incomes and resilience in the medium to long-term.