Sustainable cocoa beans production and marketing
Published on July 27, 2016 um 15:49
Explain your idea in details:
The goal of the project is to produce high quality, chemical and smoke free, well fermented cocoa beans while ensuring a healthy environment and adequate standard of living for the people involved. During phase 1 (0-4yrs), 10ha of forest will be acquired (feasibility study already done). Seeds of Forastero cocoa will be purchased from the Institute of Research for Agricultural Development, nursed and then out planted at 2.5m x 2.5m on prepared land. Cocoa will be inter planted with nitrogen fixing tree species in 5m x 5m alleys. The nitrogen fixing trees will shade the young cocoa plants, provide green manure and make up for cleared forest and carbon sequestration. This agro-forestry system will limit the movement of insect pests from one cocoa plant to the other thus reducing the incidence of diseases and the need for too much pesticide spraying. The will be registered as a Limited Liability Company .Given that cocoa starts bearing after four years, during the first phase of the project crops such as vegetables, maize, egusi, cassava, plantain and grafted non timber forest product and fruit trees will be planted to cover for the cost of some activities. During phase two (year 5+); the farm will be cleared, sprayed (chemical pesticide and plant extracts) and pruned when necessary. Upon maturity, cocoa pods will be harvested, broken open and the beans fermented in cocoa fermenting boxes for 6 days before drying (in a Samoan dryer constructed in the 4th year; the dryer will generate money for its up keep). When dry, cocoa beans will be bagged, weighed and sold to TELCAR COCOA Company Ltd. Only organic fertilizers will be used and phytosanitary pruning will be prioritized over chemical spraying. The cost of these will be compensated for by the payment for premium quality package.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Economic impacts At least 100 people will be hired temporarily every year to support the activities of the farm; 40% of whom will be women. Four people will be hired permanently to work as the Manager, Assistant Manager, Accountant/Store Keeper and Head of Operations. Social impacts Increase in income from cocoa depends on the price, the quantity produced, and the quality of the cocoa. Cocoa agro-forests entail more stable jobs as the quality of cocoa beans produced is premium. There is usually compensation for producing premium quality cocoa beans. This (cocoa agro-forests) is an entire new endeavor that could be copied by other farmers. This is a better system that sequesters carbon, provides fuel wood that would have been otherwise bought as well as food crops. Environmental impacts Huge quantities of fuel wood are usually used to dry cocoa in this area. This has had negative impacts on biodiversity given that large areas of the forests are cut down. In incorporating trees we will compensate for the trees that are cleared to provide farm land and carbon sequestration. We will also grow the fuel wood that will be used to dry cocoa beans, plus the Saomon dryer is wood efficient and reduces the quantity of smoke released into the atmosphere. We hope to acquire a solar dryer in the long run; this will put a stop to air pollution with smoke. Also, there will be very limited use of chemicals, hence healthier produce. Chemical fertilizer can cause imbalances of important nutrients in the soil; only fertilizer from plant and animal sources will be used (leaves of Nitrogen fixing trees, cocoa leaves and shells, etc)
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The system of production, which uses cocoa trees with other economic shade-providing trees, is one of the most diversified and environmentally sustainable cocoa producing systems.
In order to ensure sustainability at all levels, this venture will set up a cooperative society that will involve other cocoa farmers in the area. The said cooperative society will seek for partnership, new markets, funding, training and certification. The cooperative will also ensure that some value is added to secondary farm produce so as to increase the money generated there in as well as provide a win-win relationship with farmers whereby, instead of buying raw produce from other farmers at low prices and selling it on to the next player in the chain, it will offer value addition expertise and facilities to farmers at a fee.
Initial capital will be invested to purchase land, improved seeds and labour for land preparation and out planting. Other operations will generate revenue to cover their cost as follows; money for nursery up keep will be generate from the sales of cocoa, grafted fruit tree etc seedlings to other farmers; money for farm management (weeding, spraying, pruning etc) will be generated from the sale of food crops, fruits etc; money for transportation of cocoa beans to dryer will be generated from the sale of fuel wood; the dryer will generate money for its up keep by drying other farmers cocoa beans.
I am Limbi Blessing Tata, a 33year old female Cameroonian based in Cameroon with a passion to create jobs. I hold a Master of Science of Degree in Botany from the University of Buea and have worked with a few research institutions as a researcher and mentor. In 2013, while working as the lead Research Assistant in the study to Improve the Sustainability of Dutch Cocoa and Coffee Imports: Synergy between Practice, Policy and Knowledge, I understood the potentials of the cocoa industry in Cameroon. I also have quite some experience working as a nature conservator with some organizations of the environment sector. I have worked mostly with farmers, building their capacities on sustainable farming in the era of climate change, gaining the experience I need to carry out my dream of owning and operating my own small production and marketing venture. I am particularly torn when I see young Cameroonians especially the female folk leaving the country because of lack of jobs and ending up in seriously compromising situations. I am the 2013 winner of the Television Trust for the Environment (tve) green competition in the Biodiversity International Award for Agricultural and Forest Biodiversity category. I have managed to pick up some fundraising skills, contributing to many funding opportunities for the various organizations I worked with. I received a $5000 worth of equipment support from Idea Wild in 2014. In 2015, I won a $15000 grant for the conservation of the critically endangered Microberlinia bisulcata tree of the low land forest of Mt Cameroon awarded by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.
Stage of Idea
Cocoa plant with cocoa pods
Fermented cocoa beans ready for drying
1Kg of dried cocoa beans ready for the market