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Farmer programme in Ivory Coast

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Every day, Fazer’s farmer programme in Ivory Coast makes a positive difference in the cocoa communities. Our programmes support everything from farmers’ efforts to adopt sustainable farming practices to opening new banking cooperatives that fund new income-raising opportunities for women. 

Fazer’s farmer programme in Ivory Coast includes 1,514 farmers and three cooperatives in the southeast. The programme now also covers the area of Bieby, which Fazer had supported since 2012 when the construction of the region’s first secondary school got underway.

The farmer programme allows us to help farmers improve their income. Sustainable farming practices yield better crops and higher quality.

Support for the village has continued in the form of various projects independent from the sourcing of cocoa, from the electrification of the school to the construction of a sports field and new classrooms. Now the area supplies the cocoa for Fazer’s chocolates, which is a beautiful continuation of the cooperation.     

The farmer programme allows us to help farmers improve their income. Sustainable farming practices yield better crops and higher quality. The training of farmers, improving women’s income, promoting children’s school attendance, providing employment to young people, and preventing deforestation with the planting of new trees all make up a significant part of the programme. 

Improving the income of women  

Banking cooperatives have been established in five village communities based on farmers’ wishes. These cooperatives secure funding for projects organised by women and enable savings. There are a total of 171 members in the five village communities.  The projects have involved the cultivation of food crops and ensuring children’s schooling. The women in the cooperatives have been provided with training on reading, writing and numeracy skills so that they have the can take care of the cooperatives’ administrative tasks, for example.  

Supporting children’s school attendance  

School buildings around the cooperatives have been used again after repairs and renovation. Classrooms have also been equipped with furniture and school supplies to provide children with better conditions for studying. The secondary school in Bieby supported by Fazer has 29 pupils whose parents farm cocoa delivered to Fazer.  

Preventing child labour 

Each cooperative has a committee that monitors the use of child labour. There is one monitor per 54 farmers. The monitors are trained and carry out farm inspections both as agreed and in the form of spot checks. No instances of child labour have been discovered in connection to the inspections. The inspections have revealed that 43 school-aged children did not have birth certificates and that their parents could not afford to obtain the certificates. A child with no birth certificate will not have the possibility to attend school. We have received birth certificates for these children within the programme’s framework to attend school as a remedial measure. They have also been provided with school supplies.  

The planting of forests to prevent the destruction of cocoa trees 

Fazer participates in the Forest and Cocoa Initiative of the World Cocoa Foundation. In the framework of this commitment, the farmers in the cooperatives have planted new trees on their farms. The number of new trees planted by them totals 10,000. The saplings have been planted by younger farmers, trained for the task by local agronomists. Unemployed youth in the village communities have also been trained in cultivation and the promotion of good agricultural practices. The challenges faced by the cooperatives include old farming practices, which yield weak crops. Therefore, the farming programmes employ model plantations, which serve as concrete examples of how new cultivation methods impact the growth of crops. Some of the villages’ unemployed young people have been successfully engaged in this work.