- The World Cocoa Foundation today announced the launch of the Cocoa Livelihoods Programme (CLP), at a ceremony held in Accra, Ghana.
The programme, first announced in February 2009, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and 12 chocolate industry companies and is expected to significantly improve the livelihoods of nearly 60,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana over the next five years.
"We welcome this opportunity to improve the lives of so many Ghanaian cocoa farmers and look forward to collaborating with other stakeholders to make this programme a success," said Anthony Fofie, CEO, Ghana Cocoa Board. "Since February, the Ghana Cocoa Board has been actively engaged on the programme's Steering Committee helping to plan for the start of activities in the 2010 growing season."
The work in Ghana is part of a larger, five country programme targeting 200,000 cocoa-growing households across Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon and Liberia.
Activities in Ghana will focus on improving production and quality at the farm level, equipping farmers with business skills, promoting diversification of income, and improving access to inputs and support services. In Ghana, 21 districts in the Ashanti, Eastern, Brong-Ahafo, Western and Central Regions will benefit from the programme. Accra will serve as the headquarters for the programme.
"Making real progress against hunger and poverty starts with small farmers," said Richard Rogers, programme officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Crops like cocoa represent a critical portion of Africa's agricultural economy, and improving farmer knowledge and productivity, and the quality of the cocoa production, can help these small farmers boost their yields and incomes so they can improve their lives."
"This programme builds on the success of previous government initiatives and cocoa sector development programmes, like the Sustainable Tree Crops Programme funded by the US Agency for International Development and the cocoa industry," said Mbalo Ndiaye of the World Cocoa Foundation, adding, "The experiences of these programs were essential in informing the design of the Cocoa Livelihoods Program and improving the sustainability of cocoa."
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.