ABIDJAN, December 21, 2016 — Every morning, Vincent Kouakou Koffi has the same ritual. After skillfully sharpening his machete, he heads to work in his well-maintained field. Weeds cleared, twigs pruned, dead branches removed...Nothing is overlooked by this meticulous young farmer.
After failing to obtain his baccalaureate, Koffi decided to return to his village to establish a cocoa plantation, an initiative his father supported by giving him a plot of land. In his village of Pascalkro, in south-west Côte d'Ivoire, where he cultivates two hectares of cocoa, Koffi has participated in several training sessions co-financed by the Agriculture Sector Support Project (PSAC) and the Coffee-Cocoa Board, aimed at imparting new technologies for improving cocoa productivity.
This practical training, in combination with discipline and determination, has allowed Koffi to make significant strides in his cocoa production. "Once I applied all of the new agricultural practices from my training, my output increased from 500 kilograms per year to over 1.8 metric tons from just of 2 hectares."
Rolando Appali Zizigo had a very similar experience. After several failed attempts to obtain his baccalaureate, and lacking the resources to continue his studies, he decided to return to his native village of Yopuhué in the department of Gagnoa to become involved in agriculture. "I understood that school was not the only avenue for success."
Despite being physically impaired, this 34-year-old married father of three produces and distributes improved rubber seedlings provided by PSAC.
He intends to develop the plot of land inherited from his father in order to care for his three daughters. "Despite my physical disability, I was able to integrate into Yopohué’s rubber community, which I joined in 2015. With the income from my plantation, I can finance my three girls' education."