Promotion of Sustainable and Quality Cocoa Production
The summary below was provided by the Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.
The purpose of this proposal is to offer a solution to address specific problems in the cocoa production chain and market within Lebialem Division in the South West Region of Cameroon. Addressing proper farm management and correct input usage will help ensure sustainable production, increased yields, quality cocoa and environmental protection.
SARDO has a strategy that constitutes an input capitalization fund where quality farm inputs are purchased in bulk from a reliable source with training on application to follow. A total of 4,500,000 FCFA has been mobilized for inputs this cocoa season. This amount generated, which is just a small fraction of what their needs are, will be used to procure farm inputs in December 2013 and February 2014. The 4.5 million FCFA the farmers have saved added to the 4 million FCFA requested for, giving a total of 8.5 million FCFA, will be distributed as loans payable, thus compounding the interest and creating a revolving fund where the beneficiaries will always have their inputs supplied for the subsequent year.
This is similar to a strategy that has been going on for the past two years with loans from a local bank and 100% repayment rates. Ensuring the beneficiaries are receiving the appropriate environmentally friendly pesticides and proper training on application is also preparing the beneficiaries to have their cocoa within the regulations of Fair Trade Certification. Having the cocoa groups under SARDO approved for Fair Trade Certification by 2015 is another objective which will be aided by this project.
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