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Paving a path to cocoa farmers' empowerment

A training on cocoa fertilisation with farmers in Watte village San Pedro Cote dIvoire. (Image source: AfDB)

The Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism’s trade guarantee project in Cote d’Ivoire is a US$2mn guarentee scheme which was set up to enable farmers to receive capacity-building in fertiliser use and good agricultural practices, while also helping them obtain fertilisers on credit from international fertiliser distributors like OCP Africa

Driven by the hope to boost crop yields, most smallholder farmers in Cote d’Ivoire acquire fertilisers through informal credit, cooperatives and microfinance institutions. However, improper application of these fertilisers often leads to disappointments, with harvests and incomes falling short of expectations.

Initiatives like the trade guarentee project therefore help equip smallholder farmers with the technical skills and know-how to enhance their yields and income. Classes organised under the shade of cocoa trees helps learners to carefully follow instructions as they demonstrate the appropriate fertiliser doses and application techniques for cocoa trees. They also cover the recommended pruning and hoeing practices. A key point emphasised is fertiliser spreading in a circle, one metre away from the tree trunk.

This holistic approach not only encourages good agricultural practices but also combines it with appropriate fertiliser use, thus aiming to improve productivity and empower farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.