Nestlé and the National Centre for Agronomic Research in Côte d’Ivoire sign an agreement to cooperate in a new cocoa farming initiative

Oct 26, 2009
Signing of the agreement AGREEMENT: From left, Yo Tiemoko, General Director of CNRA (National Centre for Agronomic Research) and Mr Sérigne Diop, General Director of Nestlé R&D Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire at the official ceremony.

On 23rd October 2009 Nestlé signed a framework agreement for technical and scientific collaboration with the Ivorian National Centre for Agronomic Research (CNRA) on cocoa and coffee growing. The first objective of this collaboration is to accelerate the spread of cocoa varieties in the Côte d'Ivoire, which have been selected by the CNRA.

This collaboration has two main components:

1. The generation of new cocoa trees by accelerated propagation.  These trees will be more productive and they will be more tolerant to diseases, such as black pod.

2. On-the-farm cocoa assessment, as well as technical assistance to farmers.  This will be done in collaboration with ANADER, the national agency for rural development.

The collaboration will be built around the cocoa varieties selected by the CNRA, and will use Nestlé’s longstanding expertise and know-how in accelerated propagation. This technique allows the production of large numbers of cocoa trees, without any genetic modification of the plants.

The scientific work will be done jointly by Nestlé and CNRA in Nestlé’s R&D Centre in Abidjan with the support of Nestlé’s R&D Centre in Tours, France, which specialises in plant sciences.

Once produced, the seedlings will be transferred to selected farmers in the Côte d'Ivoire.  These farmers will receive technical assistance from the National Centre for Agronomic Research (CNRA) and ANADER for their implementation and field work.

Nestlé agronomist working with cocoa plantlets ABIDJAN NESTLE R&D CENTRE: A Nestlé agronomist works on accelerated propagation in cocoa plantlets that are more productive and tolerant to disease.

In the spirit of Creating Shared Value, Nestlé will provide support to the Ivorian cocoa sector through the production and distribution of very productive and disease tolerant-trees to cocoa farmers.

This activity will benefit farmers who will be able to increase the productivity and profitability of their operations. With better incomes, they will be able to produce more sustainable, better quality cocoa.  In return, Nestlé will benefit from a sustainable supply of high quality cocoa, giving consumers the benefits of chocolate made from excellent Ivorian cocoa.

This agreement will rely on Nestlé’s R&D Centre in Abidjan, which was inaugurated on April 29, 2009.  R&D Abidjan is building a new laboratory for the production of cocoa trees using the technique of accelerated propagation. From 2012, this laboratory will produce 1 million plants per year.

Related information:
Nestlé opens R&D Centre in West Africa to improve local agricultural crops