Muriel’s diary – day 3: what about the cocoa?

Cacao Elegguá is having a great impact into the economy of the local community: the farm employee headcount surpasses 40.
All new recruits are given an employee handbook that put the employee wellbeing and safety at the forefront.
Employees must wear protective footwear when working on the field or doing building work. They must also wear protective gloves and eyewear if working the wood.
All footwear and work accessories are provided by the farm.

I take a walk to the cocoa plantation with TS, the farm manager.
Ten acres of cocoa trees have been intercroped with pineapple, plantain trees and ginger.
It is quite an innovative way of growing the cocoa, but best for the trees, as the plantain trees provide much needed shade to the cocoa.
Whilst the the cocoa will bear fruit in three to five years, the pineapple will be ready in six months.
Many other crops have been planted: cashew, neem, moringa, potatoes as well eggplants, cabbage, lettuce, pepper and cucumbers to make the farm self-sustainable.
There is now livestock at the farm too!
5 goats,  1 sheep and 4 hens.
The farm has outgrown its original objective of only growing cocoa!

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Can you spot the cocoa?

A new management team now directs the operations at the farm.
First there is the Borgbuabu village chief: Chief Fodie Gbainda who is the Operations Manager. Then there is the construction manager: Cheku. Managing the farm operations are George and TS. And of course, Clifford, the project manager who has been present in the project from the very beginning.

Desmond regularly holds meetings to discuss the operations, and most of all, to transmit his vision for the future. It is great to hear him talk so passionately about what his aspirations are and whilst the farm development is nothing but easy or straightforward, it does feel that everyone at Cacao Elegguá understands the project and feel involved and happy to contribute.

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Staff meeting

What’s next: Desmond is building a house.
This will allow us to have a stable family home, a pied-a-terre to come back to.

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