Thursday, February 19, 2009

Money donated for Cocoa and Cashews

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is investing money in cocoa and cashew farming and have others pitching in as well. The donations will help African farmers growing those crops to work themselves out of poverty.

$42 million dollars will be donated from food companies such as Hershey, Mars Starbucks and others. The Gates Foundation will also donate $48 million dollars.

Oregon's Statesman Journal has more information on the particulars of the donations, and what parts of Africa will receive them. Writer Donna Gordon Blankenship filed the story.

Among the companies giving cash and in-kind contributions to help with the cocoa and cashew project are The Hershey Co., Kraft Foods, Mars, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill, Armajaro, Olam International Ltd., and Starbucks Coffee Co.

Cocoa is West Africa’s largest agricultural export and accounts for 70 percent of the world’s supply.

The Gates Foundation has committed $23 million to the World Cocoa Foundation to administer the cocoa project. It will hire local scientists, agriculture outreach workers and educators to help the farm households.

The cocoa project hopes to increase farmers’ income by improving their knowledge and productivity, cocoa quality, crop diversification and supply chain efficiency.

Improving their growing and processing technology, including getting access to fertilizer and how to use it, could significantly impact cocoa farm production in West Africa, Shah said.

The new grants are aimed at helping about 200,000 cocoa farmers in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria in West Africa over the next five years, Shah said. The foundation hopes to help those farmers double their income by 2013.

A grant of $25 million to the German development organization Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit will support the cashew project, which aims to help 150,000 small cashew farmers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Mozambique increase their incomes by 50 percent by 2012.

No comments: