Plans have been disclosed for the construction of the Ecole d’excellence cacaoyère over a 12 hectare site aimed at raising the quality of production.
The distinctive ‘brick-red’ cacao from Cameroon has constantly been sold at a discount of XAF100 (USD 0.19) vs Ghana’s XAF150 (USD 0.30) premium, which industry representatives say is due to poor farming and processing techniques rather than the quality of the bean itself.
In the video below, economist Julien Onguene Ateba explains that farmers may dry the beans over a fire, during which the charcoal smells are absorbed by the bean.
The new academy will focus on avoiding mistakes like these and improving the crop management techniques, and this will be supported by French chocolate makers who will commit to paying premium prices for better quality.
This relationship is not new, in fact, the French chocolate makers have been already buying premium quality beans from Cameron from existing excellence centres.
The new Academy will complement existing excellence centres, and beans coming from farmers who go through the excellence centres attract a price of XAF 1,640 (USD 3.04) per kilo, which is more than 60% more than the average farmer receives at typically XAF 900-1000 (USD 180).