The Washington, D.C.-based World Cocoa Foundation, the U.S. government's Feed the Future initiative, and the Netherlands-based Sustainable Trade Initiative have announced the launch of a five-year, $14 million effort to boost the productivity and incomes of cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria.
To help fill the gap between the world's supply of and demand for cocoa, the WCF African Cocoa Initiative will work to foster public-private investments in cocoa and agriculture, improve the genetic quality and productivity of the cocoa varieties under cultivation, expand farmer education and training programs, and improve the agricultural supply chains that serve farmers. The initiative, which aims to benefit more than a hundred thousand cocoa farmers in the four African nations, will leverage financial resources and talent from a wide range of public and private sector organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development; the national governments of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria; and WCF member companies.
"The WCF African Cocoa Initiative is a solid example of governments, industry, and development organizations working together in a collaborative and responsible manner to support cocoa farmers and their communities, in turn, strengthening entire regions through improved economy and food security," said WCF president Bill Guyton. "The greatest impact will come through all of us combining our strengths to do what is right, and necessary."