Cargill has built a new cocoa training campus in Vietnam to helps farmers in the region, most of whom are relatively new to growing the crop.

The Cocoa Technology Transfer Center is in Ba Ria Vung Tau, Vietnam, and it was presented to the Xa  Bang Cocoa Co-op and the Department of Agriculture and Rural development of Ba Ria Vung Tau province today, April 30, 2014.

The Center, supported by Cargill, its employees, dealers and suppliers, was constructed for $60,000. It has one training room (which has capacity for up to 200 people) an office, a cocoa post-harvest processing unit, and a 1.7-hectare demonstration cocoa farm.

It is the first center to serve as a cocoa training campus for about 2,000 farmers in the Ba Ria Vung Tau, Dong Nai and Binh Thuan provinces. And, it, together with other technical training programs, is expected to help farmers improve yields by 30 percent to 50 percent in three years.

Cocoa is a new crop in Vietnam, and it’s currently grown by about 25,000 farmers in the central highlands, the Mekong Delta and southeast provinces.

As a new crop, many farmers still lack the knowledge, skills and expertise to achieve higher yields. Cargill hopes that this new Center will equip farmers to thrive by providing the right skills and expertise.

“We are excited that we are able to help farmers in Vietnam and closely collaborate with the government,” says Job Leuning, Cargill’s Cocoa and Chocolate business leader for Asia Pacific

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, one in the Daklak province, one in the Ben Tre province, and one in the Binh Phuoc province.
The beans are meant to supply Cargill’s cocoa processing plants in Europe and its upcoming processing facility in Indonesia.  
The center is also part of The Cargill Cocoa Promise, which underlines the company’s commitment to lead efforts on sustainable cocoa and support cocoa farms around the world.
Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, 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 has been training cocoa farmers around the world for almost 15 years.
Today, its Farmer Training Schools provide intensive training on good agricultural techniques, post-harvest practices and business skills, among other things. The training is a key to increasing the productivity of thousands of farmers in Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil, Indonesia and most recently, Vietnam.