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Cocoa Doctor Andi Asri: Helping Others Also Makes Me Succeed

Cocoa Doctor Andi Asri 3 v.4

Andi Asri is a cocoa doctor in Awo Village, south Sulawesi, Indonesia. The first time I met Andi was in Dec 2012 at the first “Best Cocoa Village Center Competition” in CDC Tarengge. Compared with other cocoa doctors, who were quite nervous talking to the audience, Andi’s interactive and relaxed way of presenting his CVC impressed all of us.

As we were preparing for a … Read more

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Vision For Change Agroforestry Workshop

ICRAF workshop

The goal of the Vision for Change project to revitalize the cocoa sector in Soubré and across Côte d’Ivoire – so that it can result in well-trained cocoa producers, higher yields and a cocoa economy that benefits the entire community.

One major component of the project is to develop and disseminate sustainable management options for cocoa rehabilitation, including cocoa farm diversification. Farmers who rely solely … Read more

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Mars Chocolate Held Cocoa Agri-business Contest at Vocational Schools in Sulawesi

The 3 winning teams at the final competition

Cocoa has been the main income source for over half a million smallholders in Sulawesi, Indonesia. With the increasing need for cocoa worldwide, opportunities and challenges are facing the industry. Aimed at improving cocoa farmers’ lives as well as cultivating the next generation’s interests in cocoa, Mars Chocolate recently held a Cocoa Agri-business contest at vocational schools in Luwu, North Luwu and East Luwu, which … Read more

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Mars Video Vignette: Raising Livestock

In the Village of Kragui, meat comes at a premium. Even a small fish costs more than most farmers can afford. That’s why Bamba Gohou Aissata wants her farm to get in the business of raising livestock. In this video vignette, Bamba provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of a woman farmer in Kragui, where women continue to work hard in the fields even … Read more

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Mars Chocolate Signs UN Women’s Empowerment Principles

This week, Mars Chocolate fulfilled the pledge we made in March to sign the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles.  Signing these principles is one significant step in the plan of action we developed to help empower women in cocoa growing communities around the world.

We are pleased to join other corporate leaders in signing a statement of support for the UN Women Empowerment Principles.  … Read more

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Vision For Change Tackles Cocoa Bean Quality


The Mars/ICRAF Vision For Change project aims to achieve several important goals when it comes to sustainable cocoa.  We are working to not only revitalize cocoa farms around Soubré and across Côte d’Ivoire to enable higher yields, but we’re also working to improve the quality of cocoa being produced.

It’s not enough to simply produce more cocoa – it has to be of a high … Read more

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Part II: Getting fertilizer to farmers!

Part II

It’s been an unusual task for a chocolate company to help develop a new formulation fertilizer and engage with fertilizer and financial institutes for the production, import and credit mechanisms for the sale of high quality fertilizer. And we still have a long way to go before we will habitually replenish the nutrients we export as cocoa beans from cocoa plantations. But the … Read more

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Part 1: Getting Fertilizer to Farmers

Part 1

The need for fertilizers

For many years, we have known that soil fertility and fertilizer are necessary to cultivate cocoa farms for high yield and long term farm viability and sustainability. And when in 2010, we developed the “package of interventions” for farmers that will turn cocoa farms from places that are low income with no future to thriving and sustainable farming systems, … Read more

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Woman Cocoa Farmer Empowered From Industry Collaboration


In the farmers’ eyes, a beautiful cocoa tree is the one with high yield. The lady in the picture who is happily harvesting her beautiful cocoa tree, her name is Astuty. With over 13-year experience of growing cacao, she carefully takes care of her cocoa farm of 2 hectors. But back to 3 years ago, those cocoa trees caused her sleepless nights.

3 years ago, … Read more

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Mars Chocolate and Oxfam America Agree to Intentional Approach to Empower Women in Cocoa Growing Communities

Mars Chocolate strongly believes that empowering women is critical to making sure that cocoa is sustainable. In our Vision for Change program in Cote d’Ivoire, we’ve worked with women who are leaders in their communities to help develop plans that will improve their lives and the lives of their families and neighbors.

So we are pleased to announce an agreement we’ve reached with Oxfam America … Read more

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