One of the main benefits of the Quality Partner Program is that farmers learn how they can improve the quality of their beans and thereby increase their income.
Productivity and quality go hand in hand
One of the objectives of the Quality Partner Program is to help farmers improve the productivity of their farms. By producing higher volumes of higher quality cocoa they can earn more.
In the Farmer Field Schools, farmers learn what a cocoa plant needs to thrive and how to ensure that the soil has a good balance of essential nutrients. Cocoa is at high risk for attacks by many kinds of diseases and pests, such as swollen-shoot virus and black pod disease. So, farmers learn the best methods for preventing such attacks, and also best practices for managing pest and disease outbreaks.
A key component of the farmer training curriculum covers harvest and post-harvest practices. These practices have a direct impact on cocoa quality. Farmers learn how different cocoa varieties and production practices affect cocoa quality, as well as the importance of proper harvesting techniques and post-harvest practices. These include fermentation, drying, preparation for storage and bagging, and warehousing.