Improving Practices and Techniques, Nigeria
Since 2011, ECOM has implemented sustainable production programs in Nigeria, working as directly as possible with cocoa farmers to expand yield and quality, and to improve planting materials and diversification. This was carried out in the framework of the Cocoa Livelihoods Program Phase I (WCF).
By 2016, Sustainable Management Services (SMS) had expanded its reach to 16,000 farmers by introducing scalable and efficient rural-delivery models and tangible on-farm demonstrations. As farmers experienced concrete, positive results from increased yields, premiums and diversified income sources, they started to manage their farms as a business.
SMS activities to-date in Nigeria include:
- The training of farmers in good agricultural, environmental, social and business skills. At present, 12,000 farmers have successfully passed the UTZ certification audit.
- The establishment of spraying groups: farmers have been trained and provided with the equipment as spraying service providers (SSP) in their communities.
- The strengthening of farmer groups through the training of loosely associated farmer groups to become more sustainable.
- The establishment of 24 demonstration plots in Ondo, Ekiti and Edo states.
- The establishment of 277 community seedling nurseries that supply up to 300,000 cocoa seedlings and 50,000 shade tree seedlings to surrounding farmers.