Mars, IFAD back project to help small producers export cocoa

Filipino cocoa producers are set to benefit from a $4-million joint research-in-development project supported by international groups that seek to link small-scale farmers to the global supply chain through sustainable ways.

In a joint statement, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mars Inc. and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) said they have launched a five-year research-in-development project that seeks to “explore environmentally sustainable ways to link small-scale producers to global supply chains.”

The project dubbed Sustainable Farming in Tropical Asian Landscapes (SFITAL) aims to explore how agricultural systems can be managed sustainably in entire landscapes in a way that respects the environment and enables the producers to thrive, according to the statement.

“This agreement heralds a significant step in the transition to more sustainable food systems,” ICRAF Director-General Tony Simons said.

“We anticipate that millions of small-scale producers, consumers and the global climate system will benefit enormously from research in development of the tropical agricultural landscapes.”

The collaboration was launched on July 1 and is supported financially and on the ground by IFAD, Mars and ICRAF.

SFITAL would focus on palm oil in Indonesia and cocoa in Indonesia and the Philippines.

“These raw materials are major sources of livelihoods of those living in rural communities who rely on them for employment and business opportunities, yet they are cultivated in areas facing environmental threats, ranging from water stress to deforestation,” the statement read.

IFAD’s regional economist for Asia and the Pacific Fabrizio Bresciani said the joint project would “promote better farm management, lower transactional costs and higher production standards.”

“IFAD is committed to supporting small-scale producers to improve the sustainability and profitability of their farms through better practices, and this grant does that,” Bresciani said.

“We will establish innovative traceability systems so small-scale producers can participate in highly profitable and sustainable cocoa and palm-oil value chains.”

IFAD said small-scale producers in tropical regions face numerous challenges which include climate change, poverty, slow or unresponsive governance systems with little interconnectivity and environmentally unfriendly infrastructure.

These producers are also at risk of social conflict and have limited access to finance mechanisms as they are unattractive for investors, IFAD added.

“Mars has a responsibility to the millions of small-scale producers in our value chains,” said Barry Parkin, chief procurement and sustainability officer.

“And for many of these producers, meeting sustainability standards that are required for access to global markets is incredibly costly. We believe this landscape approach will demonstrate environmentally and socially viable models for more effectively integrating small-scale producers into global supply chains.”

IFAD said the progress of the project will be watched closely by governments, development agencies, farmers’ associations and the private sector.

“The SFITAL team encourages more multi-sectoral collaboration to help expand the scale of sustainable farming, ensuring the swift transformation of the world’s food systems.”

Home Business Agri-Commodities Mars, IFAD back project to help small producers export cocoa

More from author

Rice imports grow by 26% in Jan-Feb

The country’s rice imports as of February 26 have reached 446,585.050 MT, surpassing the total volume of shipments in...

PHL abaca output falls to 7-year low

Movement restrictions imposed by the government to stop the spread of Covid-19 coupled with the devastation caused by Typhoon...

D.A. eyes above-P90 billion budget to allow for buffer

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is eyeing a budget next year higher than P90 billion to address...

DA eyes completion of ACEA facility for ‘safe’ agricultural imports by end of 2021

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said the country’s first border facility is now ready to begin construction after the...

TWG on broiler concerns formed

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has formed a technical working group (TWG) tasked to address current concerns of the...

Number of government-insured food producers declines

THE number of farmers and fishermen insured by state-owned Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) last year declined by 1.78...

PHL halts Russian poultry imports on bird flu

THE Philippines has suspended the importation of poultry products from Russia over concerns of bird flu outbreaks in the...

Top News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this section

Rice imports grow by 26% in Jan-Feb

The country’s rice imports as of February 26 have reached 446,585.050 MT, surpassing the total volume of shipments in the first 2 months of 2020 by 26 percent, latest Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) data showed. BPI data obtained and...

Random posts

URC income rises by 15% on lower debt, forex losses

Universal Robina Corp. (URC), the food unit of the Gokongwei Group, said its net income grew 15 percent last year to P11.6 billion from the previous year’s P10.11 billion. The company attributed this to the growth in operating income, lower...

BM Cycling Livestream

Graphic | BM Webinar

BM Broader Look Podcast