Washington — The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has committed to $3 million in new cocoa improvement projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. WCF will use methods ranging from Internet resources to microfinance to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities, the organization announced today on the eve of its 23rd annual Partnership Meeting.
In Africa, WCF says it will implement a new mobile phone-based system that will provide farmers with information on good agricultural practices in Ivory Coast. WCF will also begin a school construction project in the region in partnership with member company, Fazer Group.
WCF has established a partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria to provide assistance to 70,000 cocoa farming communities. WCF says it will emphasize Internet-based technology and business skills training in its Nigerian programs.
A Chevron Corp.-funded initiative in Liberia focuses on increased access to improved planting material and agricultural input.
“For the first time in its history, WCF is receiving support for its activities in West Africa from a Japanese member company, Meiji Co., Ltd.,” WCF reports. “[Meiji] is injecting new private sector funding into an ongoing effort by WCF to increase farmer income in Carmeroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.”
WCF is partnering with ACDI/VOCA in Indonesia to help farmers improve productivity in mobile banking, microfinance loans and ICT applications through Asia.
The Foundation also announced it will hold its 24th annual Partnership Meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in October, marking WCF’s first annual meeting held in the region.