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Nestle Reward Farmers Under Its Cocoa Plan In Ghana   
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Better Farming, Better Lives, Better Cocoa – these are the three solid pillars on which Nestlé Cocoa Plan, a program aimed at building capacity of farmers and empowering them economically is built in Central and West Africa including Ghana and Cote d Ivoire. The program operates on the premise that, when farmers are enabled with the right resources and empowered economically their yield is better for the benefit of the farmer and the industry.

Nestlé Cocoa Plan and its partners in Ghana including Cocoanect, Cocoa Merchants Ghana, International Cocoa Initiative has over the past 5 years paid farmers premium on responsible and sustainably produced cocoa to ensure better livelihoods and guarantee quality cocoa beans for industrial production.

This year, Nestlé Cocoa Plan partners launched a new premium package valued at GH¢15 per certified bag which is 7.14% increment on the GH¢14 paid in 2017/2018. In total, over 4,259 farmers under the program will benefit from a total of GH¢1, 218,000 which includes in kind contributions. Beneficiary farmers also received over 165,000 cocoa seedlings and over 16,000 shade trees. The package is part of the company’s commitment towards developing thriving and resilient communities within its value chain.

In a statement read on behalf of Philomena Tan, MD of Nestlé Ghana, at the launch Ceremony in Asante Bekwai, by Mr. Fred Kukubor – Cocoa Plan Manager for Ghana, she emphasized the invaluable contribution of farmers in industry’s supply chain. She added that the Nestlé Cocoa Plan is part of Nestlé’s global ambition under its Creating Shared Value Concept to help improve livelihoods of 30 million people living in communities directly connected to Nestlé’s business.  “At Nestlé, we believe that by empowering farmers, we are not only contributing to boosting the agricultural sector; we are helping raise a future generation of economically empowered individuals and families to make healthier choices”.

Marjolijn Hekelaar, Country Representative for Cocoanect BV reiterated their continuous support to reward farmers and the communities they live in for their hardwork. She expressed their gratitude to the farmers for their dedication to shaping the future of cocoa farming.

Alhaji Abdul Fataa Adamu, Managing Director of Cocoa Merchant, urged cocoa farmers to continue adopting the good agronomic practices as taught in their training programs as well as teach the good practices to other farmers who are not even members of the group. He thanked Nestlé and its partners for helping build capacity of farmers to improve cocoa production.

The Municipal Chief Executive of Ashanti Bekwai, Honorable Kwaku Kyei Baffour buttressed governments efforts towards ensuring cocoa farmers economic improvement. He highlighted recent efforts by government to rehabilitate farms affected by the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus.        

In his acceptance speech as chairperson for the occasion, Nana Opoku Ababio, Adontenhene, representing the Omanhene of Ashanti Bekwai Traditional area expressed gratitude to Nestlé and its partners for the good work they are doing in cocoa communities. He further made a clarion call to government and private sector actors to emulate the work of Nestlé towards ensuring farmers economic empowerment.

 As part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan program, there is a commitment to eliminate child labor in Nestlé’s supply chain. The company and partners are implementing the Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems in four (4) regions of Ghana; Eastern, Central, Brong Ahafo and Ashanti. This system ensures that children of cocoa farmers who are of school going age have access to education.

Nestlé Cocoa Plan contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 1- No Poverty, Goal 5 – Gender Equality, Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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