Côte d’Ivoire Experimental farm to produce 39 million highyielding coffee and cocoa plants

Nestlé has inaugurated a new 30ha experimental farm that will focus on plant science and research into nutrition, sustainable agriculture and rural development at Zambakro, 18km from Côte d’Ivoire’s capital, Yamoussoukro.The farm’s objective is to develop better varieties of key raw materials for Nestlé (cocoa and coffee) as well as traditional African cereals (millet, sorghum and maize) and root crops (cassava and yam). “Our research will help improve the nutritional value and yield of our raw materials, to address nutritional needs around the world,” said Johannes Baensch, Nestlé’s head of Research and
Development at the opening ceremony. “Our main aim is to provide an estimated 27 million coffee plants and 12 million cocoa plants by 2020 to rejuvenate plantations in the Ivory Coast, improving both yields and livelihoods for farmers.”
The farm’s research centre will feature a mini propagation laboratory, where high-yielding plantlets for distribution to cocoa and coffee farmers will be grown. It will also host a breeding programme for new varieties of coffee and a soil fertility laboratory.
Baensch added that the Zambakro farm will also create around 20 jobs and provide training in the latest agricultural techniques to Ivorian farmers, cooperatives and other partners.- FoodIngredientsFirst.com