Over the last years there has been a huge decline in productivity in the cocoa sector. Poor soil fertility is recognized as a root cause. This results in inefficient land use, increased deforestation, and poor use of fertilizers. The CocoaSoils program is therefore set up to close the cocoa yield gap. A public-private partnership between the cocoa industry and the (inter)national research and development community, to deliver knowledge to cocoa farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
At the end of January, the first annual forum for the CocoaSoils program took place in Accra, Ghana. The meeting brought together representatives from national and international research institutes, governments, industry, farmer organizations, farmers and more. The event built a common understanding of the state of agronomic research in West- and Central Africa.
In the next steps, the program will deepen its understanding of cocoa nutrient management, to reach at least 90,000 cocoa farmers with recommendations on efficient use of nutrients by farmers. Industry and government engagement will also be key, to ensure the right products and services are accessible to the farmers.
To find out more about the initiative check http://www.cocoasoils.org/