Inspirations in Sustainability

Guiemde Sidibé Alexandre

Photo of Guiemde Sidibé Alexandre grasping a tree in a forest setting Sustainabile Origins | Palm Tree illustration

Located in the Nawa region, 49 km South of Soubré, the regional capital, the city of Méagui is home to several cocoa cooperatives.

Among the cooperatives operating in this area, the SCAES cooperative is one of our partners in our Sustainable Origins program. We met with Guiemde Sidibé Alexandre, a cocoa farmer who integrated our sustainability program at the beginning of the 2013-2014 cocoa campaign.

“I live in the district of Gniti Touadji where I created my cocoa farm in 1990. Between 2008 and 2009, I cut almost all the non-cocoa trees in my farm. At the time, I thought their presence in my field was a source of disease and unproductivity and the trees would prevent the sun from touching my cocoa trees. A few years later, my cocoa trees began to die in large numbers under the action of the strong rays of the sun. Insects also invaded my farm, the soil became dry and poor, and cocoa trees were losing their canopy. I wasn’t making enough money anymore.

"I urge all my cocoa farming friends regardless of their locality to plant trees in their farms because I believe they can also benefit from it!”

Download the pdf to learn more about his story.

  • Mrs Fadiga, Gnama Primary School Principal
    Photo of Gnama Primary School
    Sustainabile Origins | Palm Tree illustration

    In early 2020, Blommer facilitated the rehabilitation of the Gnama School Group in Gnama-Dies in the Divo District in Ivory Coast. The Primary School has 12 classrooms and welcomes 675 students each year, including about 300 girls.

    “Blommer Chocolate has done a lot for our Primary School” says Madame Fadiga, the School Principal. “The school was in bad shape before Blommer’s intervention. The situation was precarious for both teachers and students, as it hadnt been renovated since at least 2010, the year I joined the school. The rehabilitation undertaken by Blommer was a relief for everyone, the teachers but also the children and their parents are very happy.

    Over the years, Blommer Sustainable Origins program has facilitated the construction or rehabilitation of 12 primary schools and 57 classrooms covering approximately 53 villages. More than 11,500 children, 48% of which are girls, have attended Blommer facilitated schools.

    Download the pdf to learn more about her story.

    Photo of Mrs Fadiga, Gnama Primary School Principal with some of her students
  • Kacoua Akoua Mireille and Assi Messou Franck
    Photo of Kacoua Akoua Mireille and Assi Messou Franck in their store
    Sustainabile Origins | Palm Tree illustration

    Kacoua Akoua Mireille and her husband Assi Messou Franck own a cocoa and rubber farm in Amiankouassikro in Ivory Coast. In 2020 they both joined the Village Savings a Loan Association (VSLA) named “Amankanze”.

    “When we joined, we were told that the VSLA would support us in creating our business”, Mireille said. “After saving money for four months, we were able to take out a loan from the VSLA. With this loan, we bought the supplies we needed to open our store”.

    “Without the VSLA it would be very difficult for us to get a loan here in the village”, said Mireille. “I am thankful to be a member as it allowed us to really start our business which helped improve the conditions at home”.

    Download the pdf to learn more about their story.

  • Sawadogo Hamado Emile
    Photo of Sawadogo Hamado Emile with a cocoa tree.
    Sustainabile Origins | Palm Tree illustration

    Sawadogo Hamado Emile, is a member of the cooperative ESPOIR in Vavoua, Côte d’Ivoire. He owns two cocoa farms of 5 acres each.

    Since joining Blommer Sustainable Origins™ program in 2016, Emile benefited from various trainings including Good Agricultural Practices. The adoption of those practices allowed him to better maintain his farm leading to improved yield levels. Having increased production on his cocoa farm and having diversified his income with animal husbandry, Emile was able to buy a motorbike in 2019.

    Things are progressing well for Emile, in 2021 he started the construction of his new 3-bedroom house in Toutouma. The income from all of his combined activities allows him to pay for the schooling of 4 family members back in Burkina Faso and of his son who goes to middle school in Vavoua, Côte d’Ivoire.

    Download the pdf to learn more about his story.

  • Kouamé Akissi Therese
    Photo of Madame Sopi holding a certificate and standing with two Blommer representatives
    Sustainabile Origins | Palm Tree illustration

    My name is Kouamé Akissi Therese. I live with my family, my husband and 6 children (3 girls and 3 boys) in the village of Gôgô.

    Two years ago, a Villages Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) was created in the village.

    Before the project arrived in our village, I was part of the village women’s self-help association, which aimed to support the village’s development activities. Our children were going to school in the nearby village about 2 km away Madame Kouame explained.

    As a farmer's wife, we could hardly cope with the different burdens of the household in terms of health, education and food. I had no savings and no property except our cocoa farm. Our livelihoods were very weak. It was in this situation that I learned of the arrival of a project in the village that aimed to bring people together to enable them to invest in income generating activities. I didn't know what VSLAs were and at the start I was afraid to join, because people had stolen from us in the past in other projects.

    But with the encouragement of village members and the field agent from Blommer, I decided to participate. As the project was well explained it gave us the strength to try.

    Download the pdf to learn more about her story.

  • Madame Sopi – Sustainable Origins Partner
    Photo of Madame Sopi holding a certificate and standing with two Blommer representatives
    Sustainabile Origins | Palm Tree illustration

    Having the responsibility of managing a large cocoa farm that she had inherited from her father, Madame Sopi decided to attend the farmer field school sponsored by Blommer’s Sustainable Origins program to learn about improved cocoa farming techniques. With the application of these techniques, coupled with a system of intercropping cocoa with banana, pineapple and papaya, Madame Sopi has secured additional income for her family, become one of her cooperative’s leading cocoa producers and has become a true inspiration to her community.

  • Mr. Hardi – Sustainable Origins Partner
    Photo of Mr. Hardi standing proudling with cocoa tree
    Sustainabile Origins | Palm Tree illustration

    In 2002, Mr. Hardi participated in the farmer field schools provided by the World Cocoa Foundation Success Program in Sulawesi. Part of that training included side grafting, a technique crucial to the rehabilitation process of existing cocoa farms. In 2005, Mr. Hardi joined Blommer and Olam International in the SAFOB sustainability program as a farmer trainer. Over the past 8 years, Mr. Hardi has been instrumental in leading the rehabilitation of 15,000 farms, covering over 22,000 hectares and 22 million trees. As a result, the farmers have realized production increases as high as 200%, reduced disease and pest activity and an overall increase to household income.