Supporting Young Cocoa Farmers
Cocoa is the most important agricultural crop in Cameroon, and a large part of the population depends on it. 90 percent of cocoa beans are sold into the lucrative chocolate market but Cameroon's cocoa farming industry will only continue as long as enough young people set out to become cocoa farmers.
With nearly 8 million people in Cameroon living directly or indirectly from cocoa production, it is vital for the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the welfare of their communities. As traditional cocoa farmers generally have limited access to new agricultural technologies, it is especially important to support the new generation of cocoa farmers.
With our partners, we launched a program to rejuvenate cocoa plantations and lower the average age of cocoa farmers in Cameroon. Young people who committed to plant one hectare of cocoa every year for three years received comprehensive training in cocoa farming and responsible use of new disease management technologies. A key component of the training was control of cocoa black pod, a devastating fungal disease that destroys whole cocoa yields if left untreated. A focus on the responsible use of crop inputs and personal protective equipment strengthened farmers’ awareness of environmental and personal safety.
Cocoa farming is one of the main sources of a Cameroonian family’s income. Training a new generation of farmers secures a sustainable future for cocoa farming.
Training on responsible use of crop protection products, correct disposal of containers and the importance of personal protective equipment.
Comprehensive customized training to enable young Cameroonians to become cocoa farmers.
BASF partnered with CONACFAC, the Cameroonian union of cocoa co-operatives and other co-operatives, distributor Agrochem and cocoa traders CAMACO, SIC-CACAOS and TELACAR.