ITFC, OCP Africa partner to build Côte d’Ivoire’s rice value chain, Malawi government plans US$40m rice scheme

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has partnered with OCP Africa to support 20,000 rice farmers in Côte d’Ivoire’s agriculture value chain, to boost local agricultural production, minimize exposure to imports and advance food security in the country. The initiative will be undertaken trough OCP Africa’s Agribooster Program with participation from the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, a multi-partner program led by ITFC. The agreement was signed by Dr. Mohamed Anouar Jamali, Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, a subsidiary of OCP Group, and Eng.…

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Leading chocolate ice-cream brand Magnum commits to planting 465,000 trees in Ivory Coast

IVORY COAST – Unilever-owned Magnum ice cream brand has announced a tree planting programme in the Cavally Forest region in Ivory Coast, targeting to plant 465,000 native trees as it marks International Day of Forests. This is part of a multi-year, strategic plan to preserve and restore the region where it sources its cocoa for its ice-creams. Magnum’s Brand Director, Ben Curtis, said, “We are proud to announce our work to protect and preserve forests in Côte d’Ivoire, where the majority of Magnum’s cocoa is sourced. “It helps us continue…

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West Africa to earn US$1.5 billion from sale of cashew, spearheaded by new USDA, TechnoServe programs

WEST AFRICA – TechchnoServe, an international non-profit organization has received two grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support the development of the cashew sector in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. The support will enable the expansion of the BeninCajù project in Benin and launch of the new Prosper Cashew program in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria, which will help drive change across this important value chain, benefitting thousands of farmers and others employed in the sector. According to TechnoServe, the five-year Promoting Opportunities for Cashew Processing…

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Ivory Coast eyes US$1.2 billion financing from EU to aid its gradual transition to sustainable cocoa production

IVORY COAST – The world’s leading cocoa producing country Ivory Coast, is set to clinch €1bln (US$1.2 billion) financing from the European Union over the next six years, to aid the country’s cocoa sector adapt to EU supply chain laws towards sustainable cocoa production, due to be introduced later this year. The loan will be provided under the “Team Europe” initiative set up by the institution to assist its member countries, with the resources expected to come from all 27 EU member states as well as financial institutions in the…

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AfDB, ICRAF come to the aid of Ivorian cocoa farmers battling climate change

IVORY COAST – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has partnered with World Agroforestry – ICRAF, to undertake a climate resilient cocoa farming project in two Ivorian smallholder farmers’ communities located in Soubre and Vavoua, currently grappling with declining yields caused by climate change and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. ICRAF is a centre of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Under the initiative the two smallholder farmer communities will receive climate-resilient and sustainable agroforestry assistance which will generate nature-based solutions that…

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ABC Fund supports cocoa farming in Ivory Coast issuing financing ahead of 2020/2021 season

IVORY COAST – The Agri-Business Capital (ABC) Fund managed by Bamboo capital, has issued loan financing to two cocoa cooperatives in Ivory Coast to enable them provide small-holder farmers with advanced financing for production of the crop ahead of the 2020/21 cocoa season. Under the agreement, Enterprise Cooperative Kimbe (‘Ecookim’), a union of 29 cooperatives located in rural communities across 12 different provinces in Côte d’Ivoire has clinched €800,000 (US$970,000) while Socak Katana, a separate cocoa cooperative in the country with over 2,700 members received a follow-up loan from previous…

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Cocoa processor in Cameroon eyes export market with establishment of US$73.8m processing plant

CAMEROON – Atlantic Cocoa Corporation, an Ivorian cocoa processor with operations in Cameroon is set to commence operations at its newly built processing plant worth XAF40 billion (US$73.8m). According to reports by Business Cameroon, the new factory has a production capacity of 48,000 tons expandable to 64,000 tons and is scheduled to load its first derived products for exports on December 12, 2020. The plant was scheduled to be operational since 2018 but it encountered several challenges, namely insufficient energy and water supply, poor quality of communication and internet networks,…

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Ghana, Ivory Coast halt cocoa sustainability schemes run by Hershey

GHANA – The battle between Hershey and West African cocoa producing countries has escalated with Ghana and Ivory Coast cancelling all cocoa sustainability schemes that the U.S.-based chocolate maker runs in their countries. This according to Reuters follows the alleged refusal of the chocolate company to pay the premium amount tagged on cocoa sourced from the two countries, aimed at combating farmers poverty. The West African nations introduced a US$400 a tonne Living Income Differential (LID) fee on cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season. In a letter addressed to Hershey,…

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Hershey’s purchase of ‘cheap cocoa beans’ seen as conspiracy to undermine West Africa’s LID scheme

IVORY COAST – The Ivorian cocoa regulator has alleged that U.S. chocolate maker Hershey’s move to buy cheap beans from the New York futures exchange is an attempt to derail plans by Ivory Coast and Ghana to increase farmers’ income. The two West African nations who together produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa, implemented a price floor of US$2,600 per tonne and a Living Income Differential (LID) of US$400 per tonne, meant to tackle poverty among farmers. The move was supported by Chocolate makers and grinders who source…

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Child labor remains a persistent challenge in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana – NORC

WEST AFRICA – The multi-billion cocoa industry which is of significant economic importance to both the producing and consuming countries has been faced with a myriad of challenges, with the plague of child labour topping the list. A recent report by a research group from the University of Chicago know as NORC, has revealed that 38 percent of children in Côte d’Ivoire and 55 percent of children in Ghana living in agricultural households were engaged in child labour in cocoa production during the 2018-19 season. Amid a 62% increase in…

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