Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business has made its first premium payments in Ghana for the production of certified sustainable cocoa beans.

In total 3,900 Ghanaian farmers received the payments for the first three months production of sustainable cocoa beans following their participation in Cargill’s farmer training programme. The payments were made at a recent ceremony in Sefwi Bekwai, in the Western region of Ghana, attended by the Managing Director of Cargill Ghana and partners including the Deputy CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board; the licensed cocoa buying company Akuafo Adamfo; and the programme manager of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Solidaridad.

“This payment, is the direct result of a successful public private partnership working towards sustainable cocoa in Ghana”, explains Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana.

These premium payments are a result of Cargill’s Cocoa Promise, the company’s commitment to make a difference around sustainability in three key areas: training cocoa farmers; supporting cocoa farming communities; and investing in the long-term sustainable production of cocoa.

Cargill is on track to reach its target of training 15,000 farmers in the coming three years. 2,500 tonnes of UTZ Certified cocoa from this first harvest cycle have been processed at Cargill’s state-of-the-art plant in Tema, Ghana, ensuring a large part of the value chain remains within the country.

Launched in 2012, the first phase of Cargill’s farmer training in Ghana has provided tuition in good agricultural practices such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods, and good environmental and social practices, with the aim of increasing productivity and yields.

Moving into its second phase, farms will be thoroughly mapped to determine precise yields. Soil will also be tested for acidity, alkalinity and nutrients to ensure that optimum growing conditions are achieved. In addition the training will also address broader social aspects, such as children’s education and HIV awareness.

David Kobina Aidoo, the Akuafo Adamfo district cocoa chief farmer based in Bekwia, said: “By using what I’ve learned through the farmer field school training programme I have a healthier farm with higher yields. By becoming certified I’ve received this premium payment for my crop, with other payments to come as the harvest period progresses, which is good for me and my family.”

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