The Green Innovation Centre for sustainable and deforestation free cocoa production in Côte d'Ivoire was officially opened on 4 February 2019. The ceremony was attended by Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly, Côte d'Ivoire Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Bärbel Höhn, Special Representative of the BMZ for Energy in Africa, and Benjamin Laag, representative of the German Embassy, and Fatima Beg, Côte d'Ivoire's country representative. The guests also included Tim McCoy, World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), and GIZ Country Director Michael Dreyer.
"Not only will it increase the income of cocoa farmers, it will also diversify sources of income and serve as a framework for promoting technological innovation among small farmers", said the Agriculture Minister. The aim is to increase the income of 100,000 farmers. In addition, 2,000 new jobs are to be created and more than 15 small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises supported through the project.
The project is located in the Yamoussoukro district and the cocoa growing regions in the southwest and southeast of the country. Jürgen Koch, GIZ, is responsible on the German side. The Green Innovation Centre for sustainable and deforestation free cocoa economy in Côte d'Ivoire is thematically divided into five components: sustainable cocoa cultivation without deforestation, crop diversification, local processing (primary and secondary) and marketing, innovations in the cocoa sector as well as international dialogue for sustainable cocoa with implementation predominantly in Germany. This also involves informing consumers about sustainability in the cocoa sector, challenges and solutions.
The initial event for the Green Innovation Centre for sustainable and deforestation free cocoa production was the visit to the PRO-PLANTEURS project by Federal Minister Müller in March 2017.