For the first time in more than 130 years, Ghanaian cocoa farmers will be able to accurately size their farms as part of a sustainability initiative launched by Hershey.
The Hershey Co. is announcing the initiative as part of a slew of cocoa sustainability efforts it's planning, which also includes building a community center and partnering with Source Trust as part of the “Hershey Learn to Grow” Farm Program in Ghana — announced in January.
For the farm measuring project, the company plans to use GPS mapping to help 1,000 farmers accurately measure farm size, which could help increase yields.
The process will rely on “GeoT” — a mapping and data collection method — and CocoaLink — a mobile phone program for farmers Hershey introduced last year.
The chocolate company also announced plans to build a “Hershey Learn to Grow” farm and community center in Ghana’s Assin Foso district as part of a partnership with Source Trust.
When completed, the center will allow more than 1,000 farm families and 5,000 cocoa community members to learn the latest in modern farming techniques, including appropriate uses of labor.
Hershey is partnering with Source Trust — a nonprofit set up by Armajaro Trading Ltd — to help improve farmers’ livelihoods through sustainable farming practices.
The company hopes to improve the living standards of 1,250 cocoa farm families and double productivity yield and farm income over four years.
The “Hershey Learn to Grow” campaign is part of the company’s new sustainable farming initiative, which includes a $10-million investment in West Africa during the next five years. Hershey hopes the investment will improve cocoa farming and reduce child labor, as well as increase farming families’ incomes, of which 50% is derived from cocoa.