IVORY COAST – OCP Africa is set to provide 10,000 tons of fertilizers to the cocoa sector in 20 cocoa-growing regions in Ivory Coast, supporting 100,000 farmers in the current agricultural season as part of its Fertilizer Relief Program.
Despite declining production volumes, Ivory Coast is still one of the largest coffee producers in Africa and the world. According to the USDA, it’s estimated that the country will export 800,000 60kg bags in 2022/23.
In addition to fertilizer donations, farmers will receive training, and five agricultural service centers for farmers and small mechanization will be established, courtesy of the Moroccan Fertilizer company.
“We will help the 22 cooperatives in small mechanization and we will make more than 1,600 analyses to identify, characterize the soil and then give good advice to our producers,” OCP Africa’s Senior President for West Africa, Mohamed Hettiti said.
The Atlantic Federation of African Press Agencies (FAAPA) quoted Ivorian Minister of State Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani urging farmers during the launch of the program to be “very receptive” to the initiative and to make “good use” of the fertilizers.
“The use of fertilizers contributes to the improvement of the soil fertility of your cocoa plantations and improves the productivity of your orchards, which positively impact your income,” Kouassi Adjoumani added.
OCP has been active in supporting smallholder farmers and African governments to improve the productivity of farm produce, address food insecurity challenges and reduce overreliance on imports.
The company launched a similar initiative in Ivory Coast in 2017, opening the OCP School LAB Cacao initiative in the West African country to improve agricultural productivity through a fertilization method adapted to local soils.
Other Cocoa and Chocolate players and processors, such as Mondelēz, are also seeking to increase support to farming households, enabling them to reach a living income, enhance child protection systems and achieve no deforestation on Cocoa Life farms.
The multinational confectionery launched phase 2 of its Cocoa Life program backed by an additional US$600 million through 2030, bringing its total investment to US$1 billion since the start of the program.
In recent years, Ivory Coast has also introduced several legislations to help it keep afloat on the international market as the demand for cocoa and its products continues to increase.
Among others is the nationwide distribution of electronic traceability cards to the cocoa farmer, which ensures growers are paid a guaranteed price for their produce.
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