Government of Sao Tome and Principe encourages cocoa production

30 September 2013

The government of Sao Tome and Principe, with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has earmarked US$122,000 for construction of facilities to increase organic cocoa production, African news agency Panapress reported.

In the central northern region of Sao Tome, specifically in the agricultural community of Laranjeira, which ahs over 100 producers and exporters of organic cocoa, a 200 cubic metre irrigation reservoir is under construction and in Monte Café a dryer and a testing laboratory for cocoa and coffee are being built.

Carminda Viegas, the coordinator of the programme to Support Family Agriculture and Artisanal fishing (PAPAFPA), said that the investment would help to develop cocoa trees and their seeds. All the coffee and cocoa produced will be sold to a French company.

Each kilogramme of dried cocoa is sold for around 2 euros and coffee for around 4 euros.

In Sao Tome and Principe thousands of farmers grow organic cocoa and coffee after the PAPAFPA was introduced, which over the last few years has driven the development of cooperatives and changed how family-based farmers think and operate. (macauhub)