Cargill presented the first Cocoa Technology Transfer Center in Ba Ria Vung Tau, Vietnam, to the Xa Bang Cocoa Co-op and the Department of Agriculture and Rural development of Ba Ria Vung Tau province.
The Center, supported by Cargill, its employees, dealers and suppliers, was constructed at a cost of US $60,000. It is the first center to serve as a cocoa training campus for around 2,000 farmers in Ba Ria Vung Tau, Dong Nai and Binh Thuan provinces.
Job Leuning, Cargill’s Cocoa and Chocolate business leader for Asia Pacific, said “Cargill sustainability means making cocoa farmers more successful for generations to come. The Cargill Cocoa Promise underlines Cargill’s commitment to lead efforts on sustainable cocoa and support cocoa farmers around the world. We are excited that we are able to help farmers in Vietnam and closely collaborate with the government.”
The Center has one training room with capacity for up to 200 people, an office, a cocoa post-harvest processing unit and a 1.7-ha demonstration cocoa farm. The Center, together with other technical training programs will help farmers improve yields by 30 percent to 50 percent in three years.
Cocoa is a new crop in Vietnam currently grown by about 25,000 farmers in central highlands, Mekong delta and southeast provinces. As a new crop, many farmers still lack the knowledge, skills and expertise to achieve higher yields.
Cargill hopes that this new Center will equip farmers to thrive by providing the right skills and expertise. This contribution is part of Cargill’s commitment to support long-term sustainable cocoa production. Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, Cargill is working with farmers to help meet the growing global demand for sustainable cocoa beans by focusing on three areas: training farmers, supporting farming communities and investing in the long-term sustainable production of cocoa.
Cargill has been training cocoa farmers around the world for almost 15 years. Today, its Farmer Training Schools provide intensive training on good agricultural techniques, post-harvest practices and business skills, among other things. The training is a key to increasing the productivity of thousands of farmers in Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil, Indonesia and most recently, Vietnam.
Cargill started its cocoa business in Vietnam in 2004, with the aim of establishing a supply chain of sustainable and good quality fermented cocoa beans. In Vietnam, Cargill has three buying stations in Vietnam in Daklak, Ben Tre and Binh Phuoc provinces. The beans are meant to supply Cargill’s cocoa processing plants in Europe and its upcoming processing facility in Indonesia