Ivory Coast: a future as cocoa farmer
40 % of the Ivorian population live below the national poverty line. The living conditions and socio-economic integration of young people and women in rural regions are also quite problematic. With ‘A future as cocoa farmer’, a project supported by Collibri Foundation, initiators ICT4DEV and Rikolto want to harness and stimulate the energy, ambitions and capacities of these young people and women by focusing on training, talent development and access to the cocoa market.
A challenging context
Despite Ivory Coast’s recent economic revival, Ivorian youth still face major challenges in the labour market. Several factors are unfavourable for their future. For example, raw materials are not processed adequately and small enterprises suffer from the lack of technical and financial support. Moreover, the quality of education is declining and there are too few opportunities for training and socio-professional integration. As many as 35 % of young people are uneducated or unemployed.
A new generation of cocoa farmers
The training project ‘A future as cocoa farmer’ aims to contribute, over the next three years, to the sustainable economic and social development of 2,000 young people and women in the cocoa community of San-Pédro who are in a difficult situation. With digital and face-to-face assistance, the project aims to make them aware of the various possibilities of earning an income in rural areas and to provide them with knowledge and know-how about the cocoa sector.
A digital boost
Digital support makes it possible to reach more young people. They will receive digital training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the cocoa sector. In addition, an online platform is being set up to encourage the sharing of knowledge and experience among the young people themselves. The platform will also make it easier for young people to make business contacts.
Sharing knowledge and experience
In addition to digital support, the young people also receive face-to-face support with training courses on entrepreneurship, including workshops, Q&A sessions or consultation moments with Colruyt Group employees. The project supervisors will work intensively with one hundred young people. These youngsters will further develop their technical knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, prepare a business plan and receive financial support to set up an SME.
Alphonse Amani van Rikolto (rechts) werkt samen met deze jongeren uit Colonel (San-Pédro) aan een succesvolle toekomst als cacaoboer.
A sustainable result
The combination of digital and physical monitoring is a real added value. It ensures the sustainability and thoroughness of training. Participants are expected to successfully produce cocoa afterwards and in turn pass on their knowledge and experience in their communities. In this way, we also hope to reduce unemployment among the young people of San-Pédro in the longer term.
Fair trade cocoa from Ivory Coast for Colruyt Group
The SMEs set up within this training project will cooperate with Colruyt Group. With a chain project in Ivory Coast, the group is already committed to sustainable cocoa: environmentally-friendly production, a fair price for farmers and a guaranteed market. A step towards the accomplishment of the sector agreement “Beyond Chocolate”.
Colruyt Group visited the Ivorian cocoa farmers together with the steering committee of Beyond Chocolate.