ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire – Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa farmers are benefiting from new trucks to transport their crops thanks to a leasing program supported by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Ivorian bank Société Ivoirienne de Banque (SIB), and global agriculture company Cargill.
The three institutions are helping thousands of cocoa farmers from dozens of cooperatives increase profitability and productivity by leasing trucks instead of purchasing them outright, offsetting prohibitive repair and maintenance costs. Cocoa production is a key pillar of Côte d’Ivoire’s economy and one of its major exports.
IFC is guaranteeing 50% of an up to $6 million leasing portfolio through a risk-sharing facility with SIB, which is providing medium-term financing to cooperatives that are supplying cocoa to Cargill, allowing them to lease the trucks and more easily transport beans to markets.
A first group of 43 cooperatives took delivery of their 78 new trucks during an official launch held in Abidjan early September 2015.
This project is part of a broader partnership between IFC and Cargill, which includes providing business training to managers from over 300 cocoa co-operatives.
Lionel Soulard, Managing Director West Africa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, said, “Farmers and their cooperatives have historically lacked access to affordable finance to grow, improve or sustain their businesses.
This is a really exciting development, as access to finance – and to better transportation – will make a critical difference to the success of the cooperatives and to Côte d’Ivoire’s entire cocoa communities and industry.”
Cassandra Colbert, IFC Resident Representative for Côte d’Ivoire, said, “ IFC is committed to the long-term growth and sustainability of Côte d’Ivoire‘s cocoa industry. Our work with Cargill and SIB is helping farmers become more professional, efficient and successful, and is literally putting them in the driving seat of business development.”
This program has received funding from Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).