Swiss company Lindt & Sprüngli AG is financing the installation of 69,000 solar lighting kits in cocoa farmers' households in 50 districts in Ghana. The solar lamps are distributed by Namene Solar.
Lindt & Sprüngli AG, the manufacturer of the famous Lindt chocolate brand, is involved in rural development in Ghana. As part of its agricultural programme, which has been running in this West African country since 2008, the group is starting to distribute 69,000 solar kits. This work is being carried out on the ground by Namene Solar, a London-based company operating in several African countries, including Ghana.
Lindt & Sprüngli’s interest in Ghanaian farmers is far from trivial. These farmers cultivate small plots of 2 to 3 hectares with cocoa trees. Their cocoa bean crops make up the majority of the country’s production. And Ghana is the second largest exporter, with an average production of 800,000 tonnes per year, behind the leading producer, Ivory Coast. The Swiss chocolate maker, which has a turnover of 4.6 billion dollars (2018), imports most of the beans processed in its factories in Ghana.
Solar kits distributed in 50 districts
As part of its contract, Namene distributes its SM100 solar lamps. This is a lamp with a built-in solar module that replaces traditional paraffin lamps. These solar kits are being distributed in 50 cocoa districts, benefiting 1,243 rural communities.
“Solar energy represents an incredible opportunity. Solar can light up inaccessible, off-grid areas. And the sun is something Ghana has in abundance. Solar light is a powerful tool for cocoa farmers and can be used for all kinds of tasks and activities,” says Lindt & Sprüngli. Solar energy can be used for all kinds of tasks and activities, whether it’s a reading or study lamp for children at dusk or a bicycle lamp for travel after sunset.
Lindt & Sprüngli’s Agricultural Programme works in rural areas where 1.5 million people live without electricity, despite the national access rate of 84%. At the same time, cocoa supports over one million Ghanaian households.
Jean Marie Takouleu