Barry Callebaut, IFC (part of the World Bank Group) and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative based in The Netherlands, have announced details of a risk sharing partnership of US$9 million that provide credit for up to 103,000 smallholder cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire by 2020. Barry Callebaut, with support from IFC and IDH, will provide in-kind credit to farmers in the form of inputs and farm services. “After a few years, farmers will have a positive operational and financial track record and thus become bankable,” said Barry Callebaut, “making it possible for local financial institutions to provide loans directly to farmers, a giant leap forward for cocoa farm financing.”
Two productivity packages will be provided directly to farmers and farmer cooperatives on a credit basis. The basic package will provide training in areas like pruning and crop protection and the second advanced package in addition provides fertilizers to professional and credit worthy farmers, with trees under 20 years of age. Both packages will be supported by on-farm individualized coaching through Barry Callebaut accredited agents trained on business management, agronomy and adult education.
To receive the productivity package on credit, farmers are assisted in opening a bank account where they are required to save part of the package value up-front. The accounts are opened at Advans, one of the leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) in West Africa.