Asian cocoa association helps local farmers

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The Cocoa Association of Asia (CAA) will transfer techniques for growing cocoa trees to Vietnamese farmers.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed between CAA and the Vietnam Coordination Committee for Cocoa Development, in Ho Chi Minh City on Aug. 18.

Under the MoU, a project worth US$100,000 will be carried out in the three southern provinces with the largest cocoa areas in Vietnam – Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre and Dong Nai – from September 2011 to August 2014.

The CAA will build models and training courses nearly 2,150 farm households in the project areas.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, CAA General Secretary Lucas Van Maarschalkerweerd expressed his hope that the project will help raise the productivity of cocoa trees in Vietnam to 1.5 tonnes of cocoa per hectare.

At present, the country has nearly 20,600 hectares of cocoa with an average capacity of 0.7 tonne per hectare.

The total area of cocoa trees in Vietnam is expected to reach 26,732 hectares by the end of 2011 and 53,580 hectares by 2015. – VNA

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