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Nestlé’s Income Accelerator Program begins to yield results for farmers

Allou Ngoran Aimé, a cocoa farmer and his family

Aboubacar Kamara is a 50-year-old male educated to senior high school level and a member of one of the village’s pruning groups in Côte d'Ivoire. He is married and lives with his five children and one grandchild. He has eight hectares of land (two uncultivated), with four hectares used for growing cocoa. Aboubacar and his family find schooling of children very important. They are really happy that the school building in the village has been repaired recently as the school was in a bad condition. The local government carried out the renovations and repairs. The school now provides better education and strengthens social cohesion in the village and Aboubacar states: “the school brings light in the village.”

Aboubacar‘s household is one of 10,000 cocoa farming-families under Nestlé’s Income Accelerator Program in Côte d'Ivoire. The program aims to improve livelihoods of cocoa-farming families by closing the living income gap, reducing child labor risks, and advancing regenerative agriculture practices.>

“Farmers are at the heart of our business. The welfare of their families and the health of their farmlands are important. We will continue to work together with them and other key stakeholders to help improve their livelihoods and their farming businesses”, Nathan Bello, Nestlé Cocoa Plan Manager, Côte d'Ivoire.

By incentivizing school enrollment, providing school kits, and establishing school facilities, over 7,500 households have volunteered to school their children. This is helping curb child labor issues in cocoa growing communities in Côte d'Ivoire. Farmers are being helped to adopt best agricultural practices such as pruning. Since inception in 2020, farmers have successfully pruned 10,186 hectares of cocoa farms representing about 94% under the program.  With 210,000 tree saplings planted to help build a thriving eco-system, cocoa plantations are getting shades and will eventually improve farmer yields.

“The Accelerator project has enabled us, the cocoa farmers, to improve our living conditions. That is to say, pruning allowed us to increase our yields. It also allowed us to spend less on our plantations and it also gave us bonuses that allowed us to send our children to school”, Allou Ngoran Aimé, a cocoa farmer in Tafissou, a farming community in Côte d'Ivoire.

The Income Accelerator Program is part of a bigger umbrella at Nestlé to transition to regenerative food system. Building on the effectiveness of the program in the past three years, Nestlé aim to roll it out to cover 100% of its supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire and extend to Ghana from 2024.