|CARGILL Sustainable Cocoa Programme Undergoes Expansion|
|Thursday, 23 February 2012 12:58|
Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board is expanding its Cargill Sustainable Cocoa Programme with the launch of an extensive four-year commitment to farmer training in Ghana.
The training which will be delivered in partnership with Ghanaian licensed cocoa buying company Akuafo Adamfo, a subsidiary of the Finatrade Group of companies and the non-governmental organisation, Solidaridad West Africa, aims to train 15,000 farmers and support cocoa farming communities over the next four years in the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana.
Speaking at the launch here on Tuesday, Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, managing Director of Cargill Ghana said ‘’helping farmers adopt better farming practices so they can improve the quality and size of their yields is a central part of the Cargill Sustainable Cocoa Programme.’’
He said’’ Over the next four years, these training activities will help Ghanaian cocoa farmers to achieve better results and benefit from achieving UTZ certification.’’
The target for the first year, he said, was to train 5,000 farmers to become independently certified.
‘’Throughout the programme, agricultural extension officers from the Ghana Cocoa Board will receive coaching to act as facilitators in order to provide farmers with guidance and practice examples,’’ he said.
The certified cocoa beans he said would be processed at Cargill’s state-of-the-art cocoa processing plant in Tema and could be traced throughout the supply chain as they become Gerkens Ghana cocoa powders-used by food manufacturers worldwide.
From certified farmer to final product, Cargill is developing a fully traceable and sustainable cocoa supply chain in Ghana.
This new programme of farmer training he said would complement his outfits existing initiatives and assist in the development of the industry, by improving the lives and living standards of Ghanaian cocoa farmers.’’
In Farmer Field schools, farmers will receive extensive training to help them rejuvenate cocoa farms and apply best agricultural practices related to pest control, harvest and post-harvest practices.
The initiative will also cover social issues like raising awareness of HIV and the importance of schooling for children.
UTZ, means good inside in a Maya language. UTZ CERTIFIED is a certification programme for agricultural products launched in 2002.
The launch of farmer training in Ghana complements Cargill’s successful farmer training activities in Cote d’ lvoire, Cameroon and Vietnam and 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.
The Cargill Sustainable Cocoa Programme ensures a better life for cocoa farmers and their families and strengthens the cocoa supply chain for the future, exercising responsible environmental stewardship.
The programme increases farmer incomes through efficient cocoa production. It offers tangible customer solutions which enable them to join Cargill in the journey towards a sustainable future for cocoa.
Source: Ghanaian Times