ADM Cocoa Implements Soil Health Initiative
ROLLE, SWITZERLAND, Mar. 18, 2013 – In cooperation with the World Cocoa Foundation’s African Cocoa Initiative (WCF/ACI), Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and a large number of public and private cocoa sector stakeholders have launched a soil health initiative within the cocoa-producing regions of Côte d’Ivoire.
The initiative will promote access to soil specific, tailor-made fertilizers and provide technical assistance to guarantee proper usage and ensure maximum impact of the fertilizers applied. The fertilizer formulas are specific to cocoa but need to work in conjunction with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). The consortium will support independent monitoring and impact-evaluation at farm level.
“This sector-wide soil health initiative is important to sustain the supply of cocoa for years to come. Cocoa trees in certain regions have suffered for decades from under-nutrition, preventing the farmers of today from obtaining optimum yields,” said Michiel Hendriksz, ADM Cocoa’s director of sustainability. “Projecting it to a human body, in these depleted soils, it’s not just daily vitamin supplements that are needed to make them healthy, but it is also the basic food itself that is required by cocoa to grow and flourish. Organic matter should also not be forgotten as physical texture and water retention are important factors as well.”
The efforts to promote soil health within cocoa-producing regions in Côte d’Ivoire include farm level training in crop husbandry such as weeding, pruning and composting techniques, which complement efficient fertilizer usage.
“Some of the constraints on fertilizer usage are affordability and access due to the lack of appropriate financing at the supply and demand side. To mitigate risks for the private sector and smallholder farmers, financial guarantee facilities in the form of agribusiness partnership contracts are necessary,” said Pierre Brunache, Jr., regional director of AFAP West Africa.
The next stage of the initiative will target the broader West-African region.
For further information, please contact:
ADM International Sàrl
Tel: + 41 (0)21 702 8400 - Fax: + 41 (0)21 702 8888