Friday, February fourteenth, the   UN says at least 22 people have been killed in a village in the Northwest region of Cameroon. Over half of those killed were children. No one has claimed responsibility for Friday’s incident but the opposition parties blame the killing on the government.

Cameroon: Cocoa farmers received over €1.4 million in premium payments

More than 9,500 cocoa farmers in Cameroon have received over €1.4 million in premium payments under Cargill’s Cocoa Promise program – the largest certification payments in the country.

Cameroon is the fourth largest producer of cocoa beans globally, and Cargill believes it is critical the industry contributes and helps to build a sustainable cocoa sector for farmers and their communities.

While Cargill (as part of the joint venture Telcar) has been training cocoa farmers in Cameroon since 2011, its Cocoa Promise scheme has become more advanced in the last year, training nearly 21,000 cocoa farmers at over 600 farmer field schools and building 11 boreholes for local communities to increase access to potable drinking water.

A further 10,000 farmers are expected to undergo this training in 2016/2017 and an additional eight local communities have been identified for new borehole projects.

The premium payments are made to certified farmer cooperatives with 50 per cent going directly to individual members, and the remainder being invested in projects that boost productivity or farm development for the farmer organisation or projects that will benefit the wider community.

For Cameroon, this has so far included boreholes, 100 scholarships, 10 Cassava grinding machines for women’s groups and credit/discount schemes for crop protection products.

The premiums and ceremonies are an incentive for farmers to adopt good agricultural practices and to directly support and influence improvements that will make a difference to their own communities. Premiums are paid by Telcar/Cargill to farmers, but represent a contribution from Cargill’s customers that purchase certified products globally.

To continuously increase the reach and impact of the company’s programme in Cameroon, a key priority of the Cargill Cocoa Promise is to further develop and professionalise farmer organisations.

In March 2016, the Cargill Coop Academy was established in Cameroon, based on the model in Cote d’Ivoire. The Academy provides business education and is on target to train over 900 executives from 227 farmer organisations over four years. Since March, 60 cooperatives have participated and their leaders have started the 28-day intensive curriculum and year-long personalised one-on-one coaching.

Speaking on behalf of Cargill, Lionel Soulard, regional managing director for Africa at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, said, “It is exciting to see the development of the cocoa sector in Cameroon and the significant progress that has been made so far.

“With the significant buy-in and demand from our customers for certified cocoa our long-term goal is to contribute to a thriving cocoa sector for farmers and their communities. To make this happen, we have set up the right support, tools and training to help farmers and communities improve their livelihoods and contribute to professionalising the coops. Only when farmers take their own destiny in their own hands will we have a truly sustainable cocoa sector.”


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