Business News of 2014-06-30

Cocoa industry to get $26 million boost

The Armajaro – Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Limited will inject US$26 million into the cocoa industry within the next three years. Teddy Esteve the CEO has hinted.

The amount will seek to primarily provide sustainable livelihood to the farming communities particularly at the cocoa growing areas across the country.

About 70% of the amount will be used to provide Village Resource Centres for rural schools, construct borehole water projects mostly at cocoa growing areas and provide training for farmers.

Mr Esteve announced this during a farmer durbar organised by Armajaro – Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Limited at Sankore in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The purpose of the durbar was to honour the hard working farmers who have made a commitment to ensure the production of sustainable cocoa in Ghana.

Last month a total of GH¢ 4.5 million was paid to 46, 000 farmers for the supply of sustainable cocoa during the first half of 2013/2014 cocoa season which translates into a premium of GH¢10.00 per bag.

The move is another demonstration of commitment by Armajaro and its partners to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers in Ghana.

At the durbar, a total of GH¢120,000 was paid to over 700 farmers who have been trained and supplied Tray fermented cocoa.

Over the past five years, the Company through a partnership with Ghana Cocoa Board and Chocolate manufacturers through Source Trust invested over $5m in various farm improvement and rural livelihood projects across the cocoa producing regions of Ghana.

Some of these projects include seventy five Village Resource Centres for rural schools. Village Resource Centres (VRCs) are pre-designed and fully furnished community learning centres. This is a twenty by eight footer container fitted with computers, generator, fixed desk and chairs with internet access.

Other projects include provision of nurseries which supply farmers with improved hybrid seedlings as well as the provision of input on credit to farmers through Commodity Management Services (CMS) a division of Armajaro.

About 50,000 farmers have also undergone training and extension as part of the project. 50,000 long lasting insecticide treated mosquito bed nets have also been distributed to farmers in all traceable cocoa districts in Ghana through consultation with Malaria No More UK and the provision of 150 boreholes to the farming communities.

One of the latest innovations of the Company is its farming mapping and bar-coding system which is aimed at helping farmers to make informed decisions about the management of their farms.

Armajaro is a leading Cocoa Buyer and external trader and one of the pioneers in the production of sustainable cocoa. Armajaro has recently been acquired by ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Limited.

Source Trust, created by Armajaro Trading Limited, London, is a nonprofit organisation that aims to improve farmer yields through the delivery of projects that develop farmer business knowledge and skills.

Source: B&FT
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