Africa Agribusiness seminar discusses Côte d'Ivoire's cocoa industry

Côte dIvoire Cocoa sector IPS Inter Press ServiceThe Africa Agribusiness Seminar, which took place in London, UK, on 13 November 2013, highlighted the challenges faced by Côte d'Ivoire's cocoa sector

The event, which was hosted by global legal firm Hogan Lovells, explored how countries in Africa such as Côte d'Ivoire were trying to restore their agricultural sectors.

Andrew Gamble, global head of the Africa Practice at Hogan Lovells, welcomed speakers to the stand, who included Diomande Gondo Serge Siaba, Embassy of Côte d'Ivoire economic counsellor.

Addressing event attendees, Siaba revealed that cocoa bean growers in Côte d'Ivoire have abandoned the crop to invest in more favourable cash crops like rubber and palm oil.

Siaba said, however, producing drought-resistant seedlings is a key area of investment for Côte d'Ivoire, which currently produces 1,300,000 tonnes of cocoa beans every year, due to the effect of the country's climate on cocoa trees.

The Rainforest Alliance, a non-governmental organisation based in New York, has already supported farmers in the country with their farming activities, senior manager in Rainforest Alliance's cocoa and spices programme, Eric Servat revealed in February this year.

“The aim of Rainforest Alliance is to create value for cocoa producing communities by improving farm management practices, including productivity and resilience to climate change, strengthening farmer organisations and supporting local partners,” Servat said.

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