The New Generation program, launched in 2012 by the Inter-professional Cocoa and Coffee Council (CICC), to rejuvenate the cocoa farms and lower the average age for cocoa farmers in Cameroon, led to the establishment of new farms covering a total area of 2,651hectares, we learned from official sources. This result largely exceed the initial target of the program, which only sought the creation of 900 hectares over a period of 3 years.
A large section of these new cocoa farms started producing during the 2014-2015 season. They moreover helped meet the deficit of approximately 20,000 tons of beans expected during the 2015-2016 season, due to the dormant period which occurs every 5 years.
But, above all, these cocoa farms set up as part of the New Generation programme should be of a key support to reach the production target of 60,000 of beans that Cameroon has set for 2020; as scheduled in the stimulus plan for the cocoa-coffee sectors which the Cameroonian government and the actors in said sectors are currently implementing.
Enthralled by the success of this program implemented by the Cocoa-Coffee Council of Cameroon, which already led to the integration of 1,248 young Cameroonians in the cocoa production, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is planning to extend to other cocoa producing countries in Africa. According to Omer Gatien Malédy, Executive Secretary of CICC, the European Union is also interested in this program, which according to CICC, could put a stop to the emigration of young people to Europe, and motivate young people already living in the West to return to their country of origin.
New Generation consists in recruiting and supervising young people who are interested in the production of cocoa, on the condition that each one of them commits to creating a hectare of cocoa farm every year during 3 years. This is the period of supervision from CICC, which throughout this period, offers to the young recruits all they need to become cocoa farmers free of charge.
As a reminder, cocoa is among the five main export products in Cameroon, with oil, wood and banana. Cameroonian producers of cocoa beans are among the best paid in the world, with farm gate prices which generally reach FCfa 1,500 per kilogram.