The cocoa project
The project has increased production and income through sustainable production and processing practices and by facilitating access to financial and business services to help farmers understand and engage with the market.
“The exposure visits to different cocoa production sites have helped farmers, including Moli, by increasing their knowledge and skills in good farming practices, and as a result the income they are earning from their cocoa has increased,” said World Vision Vanuatu’s Program Manager, Vomboe.
Farming techniques such as pruning, spacing and fermentation were also passed on to other farmers not directly involved in the program, by 24 farmers who attended the training. This has also led to an increase in their income.
“Farmers directly involved in the program now have solar panels installed on their houses to improve lifestyles since there is no electricity on the island. They can pay their children’s school fees for the upcoming academic year, and also cover other household needs,” Vomboe said.
World Vision has also connected farmers with Alternative Communities Trade in Vanuatu (ACTIV), a non-profit organisation that works closely with cocoa farmers in Malo by facilitating fair trade for local products. ACTIV also helps farmers earn an income by purchasing their products if there’s a delay with the sea vessel used to purchase cocoa in the archipelago.
Since March 2016, Moli has planted an additional 500 cocoa trees. His wife Monique said all their household needs are now being met and they can even save some money.
“Our lives have changed since my husband learnt new farming techniques. We saved A$276 in December alone for school fees. Now we have solar panels to generate light and our children can study to have a better future,” Monique said.