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IFC and Cargill Capacity Building Expands to Strengthen Cocoa Cooperatives in Cameroon

Yaoundé, 31 March, 2016 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and Cargill today announced the expansion of the Cargill Coop Academy program to Cameroon to develop the business skills of local cocoa farm cooperatives. The program will equip leaders of a vulnerable segment of the local community with tools to help improve productivity and reduce poverty for their partners.
The Cargill Coop Academy is an initiative under the Cargill Cocoa Promise which launched in 2012.The Cargill Cocoa Promise intends to advance the livelihoods of farmers and their communities to enable them to deliver more cocoa over the long term and secure a thriving sector for generations to come. The partners have committed more than $1.1 million to roll out the Cargill Coop Academy in Cameroon until 2020.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, H. E. Mr. Henri Eyebe Ayissi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cameroon, said, “Agricultural and cooperative education and improving living standards in rural areas are key priorities for the government of Cameroon. We appreciate this inspirational local initiative, developed with the Cargill Coop Academy, to benefit our cocoa farming communities.”
The Cargill Coop Academy was initiated in 2013 in Côte d’Ivoire, where 320 executives from 80 cooperatives have already participated in a month-long intensive classroom training, followed by a year of personalized coaching. Following the success in Cote d’Ivoire, the program plans to train almost 90 executives from 227 farmers’ cooperatives over four years, in partnership with Telcar in Cameroon. Ultimately, the program aims to provide training on adapted financial literacy and cooperative management to over 50.000 farmers.
“We started farmer training five years ago and are pleased with our growth and impact.  With the Cargill Coop Academy, we expect to reach a new level of sophistication and accelerate the outreach to cocoa farmer organizations,” said Mme Kate Kanyi Tometi Fotso, Chief Executive Officer of Telcar, Cargill’s joint venture partner in Cameroon.
IFC, funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, is providing advice to help deliver tailored solutions for clients in the agribusiness sector.  In a region where more than 50 percent of jobs are in agriculture, expanding the sector holds enormous potential to deliver broad development impact and reduce poverty.
“Co-operatives play a pivotal role in developing rural infrastructure and improving living standards for agricultural communities,” said Mehita Sylla, IFC Country Manager for Cameroon. “Our support will help professionalize farmers with customized training, and provide access to financing to ensure their success.”
Cooperatives are an efficient and effective means to reach cocoa farmers and help them bring products to the market. They are recognized for their capacity to widely promote good agricultural practices and behavioural change in rural areas.
“We have an opportunity to provide the nascent cooperatives in Cameroon with appropriate support from the beginning. Through this partnership, we aim to reach over 50,000 farmers to train them on adapted financial literacy and cooperative management in recognition of their role as the true drivers of successful cooperatives,” said Lionel Soulard, Managing director for Cargill’s cocoa business in West Africa.  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit .
About Cargill
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit and our News Center .