Barry Callebaut has developed its Farm Services business to offer farmers products and services that improve the productivity of cocoa. These include training on good farming practices, access to credit, access to improved planting material and access to farm inputs. Barry Callebaut’s Farm Services started in 2015 in Ivory Coast with a range of pilot projects, expanding recently to Brazil and Indonesia. One example of such a pilot is the replanting of aged, unproductive cocoa farms with improved cocoa seedlings from our very own nursery.
Replanting Pilot in Côte d'Ivoire
Many farms in Côte d'Ivoire experience decreasing cocoa yields due to aging cocoa trees. In the case of cocoa trees that are beyond their prime, even proper fertilizing and cropping can’t increase yields. This is why Barry Callebaut offers cocoa farmers the service to replant their cocoa farms, improving their cocoa yield and making them more economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Participating farmers in Côte d’Ivoire experienced a productivity increase of 23% in one year time.
When the cocoa trees in the replanted farms mature, the yield can more than double, greatly improving the farmer profitability. This improved yield also decreases the need to clear forest land for expanding cocoa farms thus positively impacting the environment. In Tiassalé, we have set up a state-of-the-art nursery that has a capacity to produce over 300,000 cocoa seedlings.
A newly replanted cocoa farm may take four to five years to start producing cocoa. Crops such as maize, groundnuts and plantain are promoted in these farms to supplement the income of the farmers. The shade trees that are planted to protect the cocoa seedlings help in improving the carbon storage capacity. Barry Callebaut’s Replanting Pilot in Côte d'Ivoire started during the 2017 long rainy season and managed to fully replant 175.5 hectares. Benefiting from all the learnings from this pilot, the objective is to replant 1,200 hectares during 2017/18.