AIVDP Galvanizes Cocoa Farmers and Traders for the Revival of Region’s Cocoa Sub Sector through Cocoa Value Chain Capacity Building
2nd September 2022, Buea- A total of 88 cocoa farmers and traders from Ndian, Fako, and Meme Division gathered in Limbe and Kumba as the Agriculture Infrastructure and Value Chain Development Project hosted its first and second capacity building sessions in Cocoa Value Chain Development.
The workshops, which took place between the 17th - 19th August and 31st -2nd September were designed to build capacities among farmer leaders in upgrading and managing their cocoa value chain. The latter will assist farmers in formulating effective action plans for integrated production and marketing strategies for their cocoa.
‘The impact of the crisis is very high but we can brainstorm holistically on how we can develop this cocoa value chain and stop the massive exportation of beans by empowering the cooperatives. If we process what we grow that is how we will produce jobs. Let’s put into practice whatever we learn here and teach our farmers,’’stated Dr. Ogork Director General of SOWEDA in his opening speech.
The workshops will serve as accompaniments of two cocoa semi industrial processing units to be constructed on the grounds of SOWEFCU in Kumba and MACEFCOOP in Mamfe. Workshop participants have also been identified as potential beneficiaries of the 111 solar greenhouse cocoa dryers the Project will provide thus underlining the relevancy of the workshop.
‘The arrival of such facilities like the dryers, fermentation boxes and processing units are very timely because these facilities will assist these farmers to ferment, dry and process their cocoa properly as to improve the quality of their cocoa beans. This will automatically enable them to sell better by attracting lucrative buyers that will be ready to pay good prices which will improve their standard of living. ’
- Mr. Asek Ojong
The intensive yet interactive three day sessions involved a combination of practical activities, presentations, groups work, brainstorming and further discourse during plenary presentations in addressing roadblocks participants encountered in their business activities including; access to chemicals, high transportation costs, and black pod disease. The farmers in attendance also expressed their desire to build capacities in improving quality of cocoa beans, drying techniques, cocoa value chain, cocoa production and transformation methods of cocoa into finished products. A total of 11 modules including: Post Harvesting Techniques, Drying Methods of Cocoa Beans, Value Chain Concept and Approach, Cocoa Value Chain Upgrading and the Value Income Potential of Cocoa and Cocoa By-Products, were conducted to assist in alleviating obstacles hindering participant farming activities.
The workshops concluded with participants being divided into their respective groups to create action plans for their cooperatives for cocoa value chain upgrading.