The African Cocoa Initiative is a new scheme aimed at trying to improve the quality of one of the most significant crops in Africa.
The World Cocoa Foundation, one of the main partners in this scheme, focus on promoting a sustainable cocoa economy by providing farmers with any necessary tools in order to grow and market cocoa successfully.
Cocoa occupies between five and six million hectares making it one of the most significant crops in Western and Central Africa. With this in mind, it is essential that production remains prominent within the continent.
With almost 90 percent of the production crops situated on small, independent, family farms, it becomes apparent that there is a need for agricultural improvement.
The initiative hopes to improve the genetic quality and productivity of the product as well as expanding farmers training and education. With this in place, it is hoped that improvements will both be made based on the quality and the productivity within the country.
Other partners that are involved in this initiative range from ‘The Sustainable Trade Initiative’, to the ‘U.S Agency for International Development’. They are contributing significantly to funding in order to reach their goal of improving the farmer’s expertise within the industry.
The main goal areas within this project are; institutionalising an effective public-private alliance model that will ensure any necessary support needed for agriculture is sustainable, as well as focusing on improving food security on Western based farms.
In order to reach the set targets and improve productivity, ACI recognise that first they need to conduct research into what the restraints currently are, and how they can be addressed in an effective way.
The partners involved are also hoping that by successfully implementing these improvements, it will increase agricultural productivity, and this will then have a knock-on effect within the economy.