Yaoundé, 31 March, 2016 – IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group and Cargill today announced the expansion of the
Cargill Coop Academy program to Cameroon to develop the business skills
of local cocoa farm cooperatives. The program will equip leaders of a vulnerable
segment of the local community with tools to help improve productivity
and reduce poverty for their partners.
The Cargill Coop Academy is an initiative
under the Cargill Cocoa Promise which launched in 2012.The Cargill Cocoa
Promise intends to advance the livelihoods of farmers and their communities
to enable them to deliver more cocoa over the long term and secure a thriving
sector for generations to come. The partners have committed more than $1.1
million to roll out the Cargill Coop Academy in Cameroon until 2020.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, H. E.
Mr. Henri Eyebe Ayissi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of
Cameroon, said, “Agricultural and cooperative education and improving
living standards in rural areas are key priorities for the government of
Cameroon. We appreciate this inspirational local initiative, developed
with the Cargill Coop Academy, to benefit our cocoa farming communities.”
The Cargill Coop Academy was initiated in
2013 in Côte d’Ivoire, where 320 executives from 80 cooperatives have
already participated in a month-long intensive classroom training, followed
by a year of personalized coaching. Following the success in Cote d’Ivoire,
the program plans to train almost 90 executives from 227 farmers’ cooperatives
over four years, in partnership with Telcar in Cameroon. Ultimately, the
program aims to provide training on adapted financial literacy and cooperative
management to over 50.000 farmers.
“We started farmer training five years ago
and are pleased with our growth and impact. With the Cargill Coop
Academy, we expect to reach a new level of sophistication and accelerate
the outreach to cocoa farmer organizations,” said Mme Kate Kanyi Tometi
Fotso, Chief Executive Officer of Telcar, Cargill’s joint venture partner
IFC, funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign
Affairs, Trade and Development, is providing advice to help deliver tailored
solutions for clients in the agribusiness sector. In a region where
more than 50 percent of jobs are in agriculture, expanding the sector holds
enormous potential to deliver broad development impact and reduce poverty.
“Co-operatives play a pivotal role in developing
rural infrastructure and improving living standards for agricultural communities,”
said Mehita Sylla, IFC Country Manager for Cameroon. “Our support will
help professionalize farmers with customized training, and provide access
to financing to ensure their success.”
Cooperatives are an efficient and effective
means to reach cocoa farmers and help them bring products to the market.
They are recognized for their capacity to widely promote good agricultural
practices and behavioural change in rural areas.
“We have an opportunity to provide the nascent
cooperatives in Cameroon with appropriate support from the beginning. Through
this partnership, we aim to reach over 50,000 farmers to train them on
adapted financial literacy and cooperative management in recognition of
their role as the true drivers of successful cooperatives,” said Lionel
Soulard, Managing director for Cargill’s cocoa business in West Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15,
our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion,
helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort
to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial
and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers,
customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying
our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in
70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way,
reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live
and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com
and our News