His tree stood in Cameroon, which is one of the countries – next to Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Vietnam he oversees as Senior Program Manager Cocoa. He looks forward to his IDH training at Lloyd Hotel, especially discussing interpersonal skills in Adult Education. For farmers, he says, ‘learn with their eyes’. You have to show them what to do, and not talk too much.
Jonas Mva Mva is involved in changing the farmers’ mindset. The majority of African and Indonesian farmers are now between 50 and 60 years old. They have never felt the need to invest in their farms and it is not easy to convince them otherwise. But as the forests are thinning there is a need to raise the quality of the existing farms. So Jonas puts his hope in a new generation. They are becoming interested in cocoa farming as the price for the yield gets better. It is Jonas’s task to make them see the opportunities and beat the competition of other lucrative businesses like rubber.
With ‘Brazilie’, a former cocoa warehouse across the road from Lloyd Hotel, and with Amsterdam being the second only city to host the Cocoa World Conference in June this year, Jonas should feel at home here. Yet what he likes most about living in the Netherlands, is that he has until now never been stopped in the streets for his papers. ‘For an African’, he says, ‘that is very important. The atmosphere is friendly in the Netherlands’.