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Cargill has opened the first Cocoa Technology Transfer Center in Vietnam’s Ba Ria Vung Tau for Xa Bang Cocoa co-op and department of agriculture and rural development of Ba Ria Vung Tau Province in April 2014
Constructed at a cost of US$60,000, it is the first centre to serve as a cocoa training campus for around 2,000 farmers in Ba Ria Vung Tau, Dong Nai and Binh Thuan provinces. It has one training room with capacity for up to 200 people, an office, a cocoa post-harvest processing unit and a 1.7-ha demonstration cocoa farm. The centre, together with other technical training programmes, is expected to help farmers improve yields by 30 per cent to 50 per cent in three years.
Cocoa is a new crop in Vietnam and currently grown by about 25,000 farmers in the central highlands, Mekong Delta and southeast provinces. As a result, many farmers lack the knowledge, skills and expertise to achieve higher yields.
Cargill said that it hopes that this new centre will equip farmers to thrive by providing the right skills and expertise. Cargill is working with farmers to help meet the growing global demand for sustainable cocoa beans by focusing on three areas — training farmers, supporting farming communities and investing in the long-term sustainable production of cocoa.
Cargill started its cocoa business in Vietnam in 2004, with the aim of establishing a supply chain of sustainable and good quality fermented cocoa beans. In Vietnam, Cargill has three buying stations in Vietnam in Daklak, Ben Tre and Binh Phuoc provinces. The beans are meant to supply Cargill’s cocoa processing plants in Europe and its upcoming processing facility in Indonesia.