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Business News Mon, 25 Jul 2011

Cadbury Cocoa Partnership donates 10,000 solar lanterns to farmers

Accra, July 25, GNA - The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, a response driven community initiative that aims to support a sustainable cocoa supply chain in Ghana, has presented 10,000 household solar lanterns valued at 600,000 Ghana Cedis for distribution to cocoa farmers in 160 communities.

In addition, the Partnership will supply and install solar panels in 22 basic schools in rural communities for the improvement of academic performance, support two clinics to enable them store medication and medical instruments to ensure improved health delivery and also power three food-processing units to enable women in the identified communities add value to their farm produce. This would bring the total cost of Solar Energy Project, initiated by the Partnership with the aim of providing solar power or light to communities to aid them in their activities to 1.3 million Ghana Cedis. Some of the beneficiaries of the support include farmers in the Asunafo North, Amansie Central, Amansie West, Bibiani-Anwhiaso-Bekwai and Suhum Kraboa-Coaltar districts, among others.

Mrs Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, Project Director, Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, who announced this at the presentation of the solar lanterns to farmers, said the donation was in response to the prioritized needs of the community partners for renewable energy. She said the solar lanterns would make significant impact on the lives of the people and help students in those communities to improve on their studies and academic performance.

"This is definitely going to transform the lives of the people in the targeted communities," she said, adding, increased cocoa production would foster rapid economic growth.

Mr James Boateng, Managing Director, Cadbury Ghana and French West Africa, said the solar project was part of the company's broader effort to help address the social, economic and environmental issues of cocoa communities in order to improve livelihoods and secure sustainable cocoa supplies for Ghana and the company. "For us in Cadbury and now Kraft Foods, today's presentation of th= e solar equipment is another ground breaking initiative in our company's effort to meet the social contract," he said and added that the equipment would help children to have longer study time, medicines to be better preserved and enhance agro food processing to provide alternate sources of incomes to beneficiary farmers.

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The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership was established in 2008 with the overarching objective of supporting sustainable cocoa communities and improving the lives of half a million cocoa farmers and their families by 2018.

It aims to secure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cocoa farmers and their communities by improving farming conditions at the local level to increase production of high-quality cocoa.

In Ghana, a community-centred governance structure has been set up in partnership with UNDP, the Government of Ghana, local trade union experts and CARE, VSO and World Vision, as other partners. Work is on-going in 100 Cocoa Partnership communities with partners to write tailored Community Action Plans that enable villages to identify and meet their needs.

The partnership is also involved in extension programmes and an ambassador programme to encourage young people to return to the farms.

Source: GNA
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