1+1 = 40
How UPL and Croda’s joint project changed cocoa farming for the better.
With the West African countries of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Togo accounting for more than 70% of the world’s cocoa production, there was an opportunity, and a challenge, to increase the yield and profit of thousands of small-hold growers through the development of a biostimulant.
UPL collaborated with Croda International Plc on the product development of BANZAI TM , the first proven chemical biostimulant foliar spray, specifically designed for cocoa. BANZAI TM actively promotes the production and retention of pods, is environmentally non-toxic and benign, eliminating concerns about product residues for production of cocoa paste and, ultimately, chocolate.
Following multi-year trials in Research & Development facilities and on farmers’ plots, which we monitored and evaluated, UPL became the exclusive distributor of BANZAI TM , with a marketing campaign that secured the biostimulator as a key element of sustainability for food chain cocoa projects. UPL also provided technical support, training, fundraising and payment solutions for West African farmers.
The results of 4 years of product trials delivered a 40% yield uplift which, based on cocoa prices and average yields, is an increase in incremental income of over $200 per hectare (*) for the average grower.
Such impressive results lead to the creation of UPL’s advertising campaign, which was inspired by the words of Firiki Soro, an Ivory Coast small holder grower, who stated “BANZAI changed my life”. He saw a significant increase in his cacao yield using BANZAI TM and set up his own shop to sell it to his neighbours and improve his income further.
UPL’s continued focus is on spreading awareness of BANZAI TM ’s potential within the West African cocoa growing communities, increasing sales, and rolling out availability to other cocoa-growing regions.
(*based on February 2018 farm gate prices in Ivory Coast)