Project formed to help cocoa farmers in West Africa

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The World Cocoa Foundation (W.C.F.) and the Swedish Chocolate, Confectionery and Biscuit Manufacturers’ Association (CHOKOFA) unveiled a new occupational safety and health project designed to focus on farmer training and development of innovative technologies in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The project, "Improving Occupational Safety and Health on West African Cocoa Farms," will be supported by an 18-month grant.

"Improving farm safety is essential to fostering healthy and thriving cocoa-farming households and communities," said Bill Guyton, president of the W.C.F. "This project is an excellent opportunity for farmers to learn practical safety measures and valuable health information that will make a real difference for their families. At the same time, the project is providing grants to local research institutes and universities to develop new technologies that will improve farm safety and family wellbeing in the long term."

The project will work with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture/Sustainable Tree Crops Program to develop training modules and relevant extension materials. The materials then will be used in conjunction with ongoing farmer field school programs to reinforce concepts during training sessions and serve as a reference guide for farm families, the W.C.F. said.

The training modules and materials will be piloted in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana with an initial group of 930 farmers. By the conclusion of the project, the W.C.F. said the materials will be available for use by other programs and institutions in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The materials will be readily adaptable for use in other countries.

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