To strengthen the cocoa value chain in Nigeria, the Food for Progress program of the United States Department of Agriculture has collaborated with Lutheran World Relief. The project will be carried out over the following five years and will cost about $22 million.
Lutheran World Relief will carry out project activities in the states of Abia, Cross River, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, and Osun, benefiting roughly 68,000 farmers, according to a statement by the U.S. Mission Nigeria.
It said the project will target farmers in low productivity but highly promising areas, as well as farmers in high-density, high-productivity communities.
While noting that the primary objective of the Food for Progress project is to increase cocoa productivity by leveraging climate-smart agricultural measures, it said the project will support improved access to inputs, technical resources and capacity, post-harvest processing and export markets.
Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Mission Nigeria, Gerald Smith, explained that the project will employ an approach that enables farmers to not only produce more cocoa and preserve the land’s fertility and biodiversity, but also realize an important triple bottom line of people, profit, and the planet.