The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have announced $1.2 million in new funding to provide assistance to 70,000 cocoa farming households in at least 10 Nigerian states by 2015. The program will focus on business skills trainings and support for diversification of rural economies in order to increase cocoa farm household incomes. The program is expected to generate benefits for more than 480,000 Nigerians and help double household incomes within the next five to six years.
“The World Cocoa Foundation and our company members are grateful for the confidence placed in us by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, state governments, and non-government institutions and are excited about this opportunity to expand services to thousands of small scale farmers in the cocoa-producing states of Nigeria,” said WCF President Bill Guyton.
The Nigerian partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and WCF builds upon the foundation of the WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program (CLP), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and WCF member companies with partners from the German Development Agency GIZ and SOCODEVI. This partnership will ensure that the Nigerian program benefits from lessons already learned through CLP’s engagement in other West African cocoa-producing countries.
In carrying out the program activities, WCF will closely collaborate with Nigerian federal and state institutions, with active involvement of the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture’s Cocoa Division, its Cocoa Transformation Agenda Team, and other local institutions. The Cocoa Transformation Team will lead and provide guidance and oversight on the overall program coordination, and will assist implementing partners with advice on specific technical issues, identification of innovative technologies, and leveraging other complementary programs.
Press release (pdf)