Ibekimi Oriamaja Reports
An initiative to honor and congratulate farmers who have shown a high degree of dedication to promoting sustainable cocoa growing has been launched by a group, Barry Callebaut Nigeria.
Barry Callebaut is awarding N17 million as part of the program for cocoa delivered in the 2021/2022 season in the states of Ondo and Cross River.
This program aligns with Cocoa Horizon goals to support sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, increased productivity, and community development while enhancing the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities.
Through Cocoa Horizons, Barry Calebaut says, it continues to relate with farmers on how to improve their yields, shun cocoa farming in protected areas and support “Zero Child Labour” programmes.
Recently over 1,000 farmers were sensitised on critical issues surrounding Child Labour to let farmers know that they have a moral responsibility to stop children from working in cocoa plantations.
Managing Director, Barry Callebaut in Nigeria, Adriaan Verbeke, affirmed the company’s commitment to continue supporting cocoa farmers in every region where families’ well-being is based on their cocoa activities.
“We are very appreciative of the farmers who have engaged in our Cocoa Horizons program and look forward to supporting them further to improve their livelihoods and their communities. We plan to extend the Cocoa Horizons programme to farmers in other regions of Nigeria in the coming 2022/2023 season starting in October 2022.
“Barry Callebaut is demonstrating its long-term commitment to the Nigerian cocoa sector, its farmers and local buying agents through this program. Together we can grow the sector and improve the livelihoods of the farmers and other stakeholders in the cocoa supply chain,” he said.
Distribution of premiums and farm inputs to farmers is one of the group’s measures to help assure future supplies of cocoa and enhance farmer lives as part of the aim to make sustainable chocolate the standard by 2025.
In Akure, the capital of Ondo State, and Ikom, Cross Rivers, Barry Callebaut trained more than 1,500 cocoa farmers in excellent agricultural practices with a strategic plan to assess the training’s effectiveness.
The farmers who perform well during the program will receive certificates and farm equipment like sprayers, rain boots, cutlasses, wheelbarrows, and more.
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