Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Cargill Inc. is investing in cocoa farmer training.
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate is investing US$3.25 million to help expand and develop its farmer-training program to support the cocoa sector in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer of cocoa.
The investment will also go towards supporting activities to enable cooperatives to obtain independent UTZ and Rain Forest Alliance certification. UTZ is one of the largest sustainability programs for coffee, cocoa and tea in the world.
The investment will also go towards supporting partnerships with ANADER – Ivory Coast’s national rural development agency – to support farmer training activities and the distribution of 600,000 cocoa tree seedlings to participating cooperatives to help improve and renew existing cocoa farms.
This latest investment from Cargill is all part of the company’s Sustainable Cocoa Program, which helps improve the farming practices and the livelihoods of Ivorian cocoa farmers, and helps support the development of the country’s cocoa sector.
Cargill has been training Ivorian cocoa farmers for more than 10 years and helps thousands of farmers increase their yields, improve quality and adopt more sustainable practices.
In 2011/2012, Cargill will train more than 60,000 farmers across 90 cooperatives in the country through over 1,100 farmer field schools. This training has already enabled 44 farmer cooperatives to achieve independent UTZ certification and this figure will double to 90 certified cooperatives by October 2012.