The Swiss non-governmental organisation Helvetas will help the southern province of Tien Giang to carry out a four-year project to develop organic and fair trade cocoa (Eco-Cocoa project).
The project, which will run from January 2010 to the end of December 2013, has a total investment of 498,100 USD, to which Helvetas will contribute 440,100 USD and the province will provide the remaining capital.
The project will apply an advanced quality management system, which will help farmers to produce a high value organic cocoa during the growing, processing and selling of the product.
The project will be carried out in Cho Gao, Go Cong Tay and Tan Phu Dong districts and involves roughly 1,000 farming households who will each plant 2,000 m2 of cocoa plants.
Ten demonstration areas were developed in 2009 on a trial basis in Vinh Huu commune, Go Cong Tay district, with support from the national agro-fisheries promotion centre and Helvetas. The farmers working the pilot areas were also provided with training on the necessary farming technologies.
Tien Giang province now has more than 1,400 hectares under cocoa plants./.