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Towards Cash- Lite Barry Callebaut signs 10,000 Cocoa farmers to mobile money

The mobile money can be used directly for payments at shops or public institutions, or cash may be withdrawn at cash points, according the statement.

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Barry Callebaut, one of the world’s leading chocolate producer, has signed 10,000 cocoa farmers onto its mobile payment platform.

A statement published on the company’s website said: “This innovative financial system is based on secure mobile phone technology and offered to farmers who are registered with Biopartenaire, Barry Callebaut’s direct farmer sourcing and services organization in Côte d’Ivoire.”

According to the statement, once farmers are equipped and signed up, payment for the delivery of cocoa beans is made directly into the farmer’s mobile account. The farmer’s financial assets are password-secured to avoid theft, a constant worry of farmers keeping cash.

The mobile money can be used directly for payments at shops or public institutions, or cash may be withdrawn at cash points, according the statement.

The mobile banking program was born from a partnership between Biopartenaire and mobile phone services provider Orange CI. The cost of solar chargers and the withdrawal costs are financially supported through a public-private partnership program between DEG (Deutsche Entwicklungsgesellschaft) and Barry Callebaut.

Andres Tschannen, who initiated the program when he was running Biopartenaire, is proud of its achievement so far: “Mobile banking represents a step-change in making cocoa farming a more professional and sustainable business. It benefits ten thousand farmers and their families and underlines Barry Callebaut’s strategy to support farmer livelihoods”.

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