Partnership signed in Nigeria to benefit 250,000 cocoa farming households with increased income

IDH has signed an agreement with OCP Africa, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) to provide cocoa specific fertilizer formulations for cocoa-producing ecological zones of Nigeria. Through proper fertilizer application, farmers are expected to benefit from increasing yields and thereby increased income and reduction of expansion into forest areas.

This 2-year project, known as the Soil Fertility Evaluation for Cocoa Fertilizer Formulation Project, will conduct intensive and extensive soil, foliage and yield analyses of cocoa in order to create cocoa specific fertilizer formulations tailored to the different cocoa-producing ecological zones of Nigeria.

Signing of the partnership: From Left, Dr. Olusoji Oduwole of CRIN, Dr. Joesph Uponi of IITA, Cyril Ugwu of IDH and Caleb Usoh of OCP

Nigeria suffers from a decrease in cocoa yields and soil fertility. Through developing soil information for areas under cocoa cultivation, a guide for sustainable fertilizer will effectively be developed. The use of which will empower cocoa farmers to improve their livelihoods, turning cocoa farming into a profitable and sustainable business, conserving the environment, while boosting cocoa production in Nigeria.

The implementation, coordination and reporting on the project will be led by the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN). International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) will support CRIN in the implementation and management of funds. The Nigeria Country Committee of the Cocoa Fertilizer Initiative will provide guidance and oversight to the implementation of the project. IDH will serve as Secretariat for the Country Committee of the Nigeria Cocoa Fertilizer Initiative and coordinate the implementation of the entire project. All parties involved, are members of the Nigeria Country Committee of the Cocoa Fertilizer Initiative, including a number of local and international cocoa trading companies and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture of Nigeria.

CRIN, IITA and IDH are also active partners in the wider CocoaSoils research program.  This program works towards deepening the global understanding of the nutrient requirements of the cocoa tree, and the roles and physiological responses to different nutrients. Based on the outcomes of the Soil Fertility Evaluation for Cocoa Fertilizer Formulation Project and the CocoaSoils program specific Integrated Soil Fertility Management and other productivity-enhancing recommendations will be delivered towards the sustainable intensification of cocoa production.