Mobile training unit for cocoa farmers in remote areas (Côte d’Ivoire)

Barry Callebaut, a leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, launched its Cocoa Horizons Truck – a multi-purpose mobile unit with modern communication equipment powered by solar energy – at its new home base in Vridi, Abidjan, in January.The truck is designed to provide farmer training sessions in good agricultural practices through movies and theatre sketches, with the truck serving as a stage; basic health care services; literacy training and child labour sensitisation programmes.
The team on board includes Barry Callebaut’s own farmer training experts and a nurse to provide basic health care, such as vaccination programmes and educational services. Part of the pilot programme is to assess the needs of each community and to adapt the truck’s training programme where necessary. The Cocoa Horizons Truck started its journey from Abidjan, rolling northwest towards the cocoa farming community of Tolakro, near Tiassalé. It visits one village after another, staying for about two days at a time.
Hervé Beerens, responsible for the Cocoa Horizons Truck project, says that the impact of the truck will be evaluated at the end of the one-year pilot phase. “If everything works according to plan, we intend to increase the number of trucks successively. We expect to reach 7,000 more cocoa farmers across Côte d’Ivoire this year.” –