ABIDJAN, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cote d'Ivoire, the world's top producer of cocoa, has inaugurated the West African country's first laboratory for quality production and sustainable farming.
The lab, a project under the public-private partnership conducted by the National Center for Agricultural Research (CNRA), was inaugurated on Tuesday in the economic capital Abidjan on the sidelines of the official opening ceremony of the first world cocoa conference.
The CNRA director general, Yte Wongbe, expressed confidence that the project will "bring a lot of hopes for farmers whose orchards have started ageing."
"With the launch of this laboratory which guarantees continued production throughout the year, the farmers will get access to thousands of young plants," he added.
The plants will be distributed to improve the productivity and the quality of cocoa, something that will earn the farmers more benefits than before.
Cote d'Ivoire supplies nearly 40 percent of the total demand for cocoa in the world.
The country's cocoa industry, however, is facing challenges like ageing orchards, which resulted in reduced production and poor quality products.
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