Yaounde, Cameroon Africa(Cameroon News) – US based business Cargill is supporting Cameroon farmers to ramp up cocoa production.
U.S. based agribusiness major Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] announced on Wednesday that it proposes to educate about 500 cocoa farmers in Cameroon, to support them ramp up production and quality of the crop in the world’s fifth cocoa grower.
Wendy Garbutt, communications executive at Cargill, said the programme will be deployed in a manner similar to what was done in a project in the same lines in Ivory Coast, the world’s leading cocoa producer.
“This program is a four-year commitment. If the farmers succeed in passing the audits for certification they will be able to start delivering their certified cocoa as from the next crop year, that is September-October 2012,” Garbutt said.
The project will not only educate individual small-scale farmers on the best practices in cocoa farming, but will also look specifically at bringing up the capacities of farmer organizations, he said.
Harold Poelma, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate division, said as they completed the first year in a similar project in Ivory Coast had created, a 47 percent rise in average production, going up from 559 to 882 kilograms per hectare.
The programme will be undertaken in the South West region of the country, a major cocoa producing region, in synergy with Telcar Cocoa, Cargill’s joint venture partner and the country’s leading cocoa exporter.
Cameroon proposes to increase the cocoa production by two times, the crop being one of the richest sources of foreign-exchange, by 2015, by starting to give away a high grade variety of seedlings that produces more than 1,000 kg per hectare.
The country’s cocoa sector has predicted production for the season to surpass a season record 230,000 tonnes in comparison with 197,000 tonnes last season.