Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Konye's Cocoa - English Version

Normal
(0)
Difficulty: 0

Under the canopy of Cameroon's rainforest...

...Robert Tambe is making his way to his farm.

The brightly coloured pods dotting the trees along his path...

...are what he's here for: cocoa.

This is ripe pod.

I have to cut...

...then put inside the basket.

I should cut carefully without wounding the stem.

Cocoa can grow in harmony with the natural forest...

...which is why this "farm" is still surrounded by impressively tall trees.

The forest is very important to farmers.

The young cocoa needs at least 70 to 75 percent of shade...

...during the zero to five years when it is growing.

So we the facilitators are going now from village to village...

...to train farmers how to reserve this forest.

Instead of destroying the forest...

...we are now bringing them for diversification...

...planting of other timber trees in their farms.

I have decided to carry out cocoa farming...

...mixed planting in my own area of farming.

You have plantains, you have banana...

...you have pear trees, you have bush mango...

...you have bush pepper.

This plant is bush mango.

When I brought it as a seed...

...I had to nurse it and put in a polyethylene bag.

After that, I brought it to the farm and plant.

Diversifying with other crops provides the farmers with food and money off season...

...but it's the cocoa harvest that brings in most of their income.

And in Robert's community Konye...

...pretty much everyone benefits from the cocoa that grows in the surrounding forest.

I can say all of my parents are farmers.

And it is from cocoa that they make money...

...to educate their children, buy their school needs...

...and any other thing that the children need.

Medical facilities... money is gotten from cocoa.

Formerly, we were across the road...

...in a very delapidated structure.

So when the Sic Cacaos came here...

...they visited the school and saw that the children were learning...

...in a very bad or poor environment.

So when they went back...

...they came and constructed this structure for us.

And we are today in heaven.

From grass to grace we are happy.

Key to Konye's success in cocoa production...

...has been the set up of a co-operative representing the collective interests of farmers: KONAFCOOP.

Konye Area Farmers Co-operative Society Limited...

...is a producers co-operative society...

...created with the aim of organising the marketing of members produce.

As the farmers bring their cocoa together...

...they are able to sell at better prices...

...and therefore each farmer who belongs to the co-operative...

...earns more money than a farmer who sells independently to other buyers.

Cameroon is one of the top five producers of cocoa...

...which is the country's highest earning agricultural export product.

Even so, the market is high competitive and it's not easy making a profit.

Especially as far as drying is concerned...

...we are actually faced with a lot of challenges..

...because we produce cocoa here in the heart of the rains...

...and so we can hardly have good weather to dry under the sun...

...which is the best way to dry cocoa.

And so we resort to drying on the ovens...

...or other drying facilities using wood.

Smoke drying over wood gives cocoa a bitter taste.

And the need for firewood puts further pressure on the forest.

But Konye farmers now have access to an electric dryer.

Smoke free cocoa sells at a premium and spares the forest.

It is another asset paid for by the co-operative.

This is more than a ton of cocoa which is being dried.

More than a ton of cocoa.

When the weather is not conducive of sun drying, they bring it here.

In about three to six hours...

...the cocoa comes back to a normal eight percent.

In order to get a further premium and maximise their profit...

...Konye's farmers are also striving to produce their cocoa organically.

This calls for the phase out of pesticides in favour of manual weeding.

Farmer field schools organised through the co-operative train farmers on best practice.

Elsewhere, other people use a lot of chemicals.

But in the farmer field school in this Konye environment...

...pesticides is our last resort.

People have started realising we must keep our farm clean...

...remove all the diseased pods.

We do pruning, make sure there is light entering our farm.

So those are the various methods to eliminate the use of pesticides in our farm.

Thanks to Konye's responsible way of farming cocoa...

...the forest here is still largely intact.

This forms a stark contrast with other parts of Cameroon...

...where forests have been cut down to make way...

...for vast plantations of banana and oil palms.

These large industrial projects come at the expense of the local economy...

...and of the magnificent biodiversity of the region.

But the example set by Konye provides a glimmer of hope.

Konye people show us that there are alternatives...

...to make sure there is no deforestation...

...and we have a good quality and quantity of production of cocoa.

This kind of initiative has to be replicated in any other region in Cameroon...

...but also in many countries in Africa.

Because Konye today shows us that there is no incompatibility...

...between development and forest protection.

And Robert?

Well having now prepared his own farm...

... he is set to join the co-operative to start marketing his cocoa.

When my farms develop...

...I will raise monies to see if I can sponsor my children.

I can see if I can raise a small business centre for my wife...

...to carry out her own daily activities...

...so that we can continue to carry on the family activities without any problem.

For Robert and for Konye's forest...

...a brighter future may be just around the corner.

The Description of Konye's Cocoa - English Version