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Cargill’s Cocoa Farmer Training Introduced in Cameroon

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Cargill’s Cocoa Farmer Training Introduced in Cameroon

Cargill’s Cocoa Farmer Training Introduced in Cameroon
July 18
10:23 2011

Farmer co-operatives in Cote d’Ivoire are benefiting from average yield improvements of nearly 50%, a 30% reduction in major pest problems and quality improvements in bean fermentation as a result of Cargill’s farmer training to support sustainable cocoa production and certification. Following on from the success of these pilot co-operatives, the training programme is being expanded to include Cameroon, the world’s fourth largest cocoa producer.

Harold Poelma managing director cocoa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, explains: “After the first year of UTZ certification, our pilot co-operatives in Cote d’Ivoire have seen on average a 47% increase in yields, rising from 559 to 882 kilograms per hectare. “As a result of the adoption of good agricultural practices around pruning and weeding, there also has been, on average, a 30% reduction in major pests along with major improvement in the fermentation level of the beans and a decrease in humidity, due to improved drying and storage after harvest. These results convince us that we are following the right strategy in Cote d’Ivoire, and we will now adopt this successful policy in other cocoa growing countries where we feel we can make a real difference.”

Cargill, which is the largest exporter of cocoa beans from both Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon, has built up an extensive network and presence on the ground in Cameroon, comparable to that in Cote d’Ivoire, including rural buying stations and warehouse facilities. This extensive network, and the close relationship with farmers it brings, benefits farmers in Cameroon and their communities.

The programme of farmer training in Cameroon will be delivered in partnership with Telcar, Cargill’s joint venture partner in Cameroon. It is being launched in conjunction with the World Cocoa Foundation and Socodevi, a Canada-based network of co-operative businesses that supports farmers organisations’ initiatives in the developing world. The programme will support the creation of a sustainable cocoa supply chain in the country, with the aim of achieving UTZ certification for co-operatives in 2012.

This latest expansion of farmer training, which complements that previously announced in Vietnam, underlines Cargill’s belief that training farmers successfully is key to building a sustainable supply chain as well as helping increase farmers’ incomes and supporting the future growth of cocoa farming.

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