Hershey has said that it hopes to double the output from its cocoa suppliers in Nigeria as it extends its Learn to Grow programme in the country.

The US chocolate group announced today (16 July) that it plans to provide training to 20,000 Nigerian farmers in partnership with IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative) and Source Trust. Hershey said that the training was designed to improve the quality and quantity of the cocoa crop and boost farm income by as much as 30%.

“We believe cocoa farming in Nigeria will benefit greatly from modernisation programs that help increase incomes, improve communities, reduce child labour and assure long-term supply,” said Terry O’Day, Hershey SVP and chief supply chain officer.

“Hershey is driving rapid improvement in cocoa farming in West Africa through technologies that are popular with farmers, such as satellite farm mapping, model demonstration farms and mobile phone training in the CocoaLink program. We are pleased to be working with IDH on a program that squarely focuses on the needs of Nigerian cocoa farmers and their families.”