WACOT Limited, a member of Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, has awarded a total of 1,578 cocoa farmers in 28 communities in Osun State with up to N40,000 each for their commitment to sustainably producing the primary cash crop.
This bonus was awarded to the farmers in addition to the payments made to them for the cocoa they delivered to the company as part of the outgrower programme initiative. The earned bonus was in recognition of the superior product quality the farmers delivered to WACOT, which surpassed the international standards of sustainable cocoa production. The standards include but are not limited to excluding child or forced labour, responsible use of fertilisers and pesticides, proper tree care, and preserving protected reserves.
The special quality bonus was distributed at the Cocoa Farmers Premium Payment Award event held in Akeredolu Community, Osun State.
In her remarks, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Manager of WACOT Limited, Yosola Onanuga, stated, “The award was given to the farmers based on their yield contribution to the outgrower programme initiative. The farmers were awarded between ₦30,000 to N40,000, while some got as high as ₦100,000 based on their sustainable cocoa production.”
She added, “We are shifting our cocoa specification to achieve a responsibly managed supply chain complying with the legal requirements of Nigeria and our cocoa export markets. We stand by our goal of promoting sustainable cocoa production through several sustainability initiatives with our partners.”
Chief Operating Officer of WACOT Limited., Bibhu Nanda, commented on the cash award, emphasizing that they were well-deserved for farmers who have embraced sustainable cocoa production in line with WACOT’s vision and international best practices. He stated, “This funding from WACOT is intentional and will further motivate cocoa farmers to abandon harmful cultivation practices and adopt sustainable production. It underscores our commitment to sustainability and inclusivity as we work together towards profitability and growth optimization.”
The beneficiaries expressed gratitude for the award, enabling them to enhance production. One of the recipients, Francis Sunday, conveyed trust in the firm and called for continued support. “I have been supplying cocoa to WACOT for years, and they have consistently supported us. This award will significantly boost my yield. I urge other companies and even the government to do more to encourage people to join the farming business.”