Barry Callebaut Nigeria has rewarded over 3,000 cocoa farmers in Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Cross Rivers states in line with premiums from the 2022/2023 cocoa farming season.
The farmers were rewarded with cash prizes, farm inputs and awards to serve as an encouragement to them to deliver quality cocoa.
The Sustainability Operations Manager of Barry Callebaut Nigeria, Mr Mujeeb Oniyide flagged off the premium distribution to farmers from different communities in Ondo State.
At the distribution of the rewards in Akure, the Ondo state capital, the Sustainability Operations Manager of Barry Callebaut Nigeria, Mr Mujeeb Oniyide, said the aim of supporting sustainable cocoa farming and giving back to farmers, was to encourage them to deliver quality cocoa and to ensure that they serve as models to others and to make Nigerian Cocoa recognized and acceptable globally.
The Operations Manager noted that in supporting the National Economic Development plans, many of the beneficiaries of the premium would be receiving the payment digitally through a wallet system created for the farmer.
Oniyide pointed out that another target of Barry Callebaut Nigeria, was to improve the financial inclusion of cocoa farmers in the rural settlements across cocoa producing States in the country.
He said Barry Callebaut had trained over 5,000 cocoa farmers in Osun, Ondo, Ogun and Cross Rivers states on good agricultural practices with strategic plans of measuring the impacts of the trainings, while the cocoa firm sensitized over 2,500 farmers on critical issues surrounding Child Labour and Forced Labour to stop children from working in cocoa plantations by allowing them to face their education.
Some of the cocoa stakeholders including Mr Lawrence Afere, who is the founder of Spring Board Farmers Cooperative In Ondo State, appreciated Barry Callebaut Nigeria for their regular support to farmers.
Two of the benefitting farmers, Mr Paulinus Obinna and Alhaja Tawakalitu Adenike Ogbera commended Barry Callebaut, noting that the rewards would bring the best out of the farmers to produce more quality cocoa.
The stakeholders urged the cocoa farmers in Ondo state to keep up the good works to boost cocoa production in Nigeria.