ACCRA – The Netherlands Embassy has signed a seven million- Euro grant for a four-year Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP). The grant is expected to leverage additional private sector cocoa industry funding of 14 million Euros.
The project managed and coordinated by Solidaridad West Africa was jointly developed by a consortium of cocoa sector partners and industry companies including international Fertiliser Development Corporation, Armajaro, Cargill, ECOM, Barry Callebaut, ADM and Continaf.
The Dutch Ambassador, Hans Docter noted that the support from his country aimed at developing economic, social and environmentally sustainable support for cocoa farmers in the main cocoa producing regions of the country.
He said the programme was a good example of current Dutch policy of combining trade and development cooperation.
“The programme shows that public and private interests can go hand in hand to add value, without the government having to take on additional burden increase export revenue, make production more sustainable and improve farmer’s profit,” he said.
Mr Isaac Gyamfi, Managing Director Solidaridad said the programme would provide the necessary technical support for farmers to rehabilitate old farms and intensify existing cocoa systems.
It will work with the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana and Coco Board to boost availability of improved planting materials for the farmers, he said.
He explained that the programme would target entrepreneurial farmers who really want to develop their cocoa farms into sustainable and viable business enterprises.
Mr Gyamfi said CORIP would promote the establishment and operation of cocoa Rural Service Centres (RSCs) that would promote and upscale cocoa production in a sustainable self-financing way.
“RSCs would privately run entities that provide training, information, inputs and other technical support for improved cocoa production,” he said, adding that the programme targets the rehabilitation and intensification of between 60-80 hectares.
The Netherlands is the largest importer of cocoa from West Africa. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world with total bean sales averaging $ 2 billion per annum.