The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 launched a new $13.5 million African Cocoa Initiative (WCF/ACI) to support the cocoa sector in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon.
“The WCF/ACI is a five-year, $13.5 million programme in the four producing countries that will develop their cocoa sector in four critical areas: foster public-private cooperative investments in cocoa and agriculture, improve the genetic quality and productivity of the cocoa varieties under cultivation, expand farmer education and training programmes, and improve the agriculture input supply chains that serve the farmers,” said the three institutions in a joint statement.
Through WCF/ACI, the statement said the partner institutions, USAID, WCF and IDH, are contributing significant funding and expertise to improve farmer incomes, alleviate poverty, strengthen government and regional institutions, and help advance food security throughout the region.
The four national governments have each endorsed WCF/ACI and are committing their agencies to participating and investing in its sponsored activities, it said.
The programme which will be headquartered at WCF’s office in Accra, Ghana, will be launched in the coming weeks in the various countries, according to the statement.
Bill Guyton, President of WCF, was cited in the statement saying, “We are very pleased to launch this significant new partnership with USAID, WCF member companies, and the Sustainable Trade Initiative. WCF/ACI complements our existing programs and will enable us to reach many more cocoa farmers and build new partnerships in West and Central Africa.”
Source: newsroom - farmingnewsdaily.co.uk