Saturday, 20 April 2019

Strengthening the Cocoa Marketing System in Río Verde

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Co-ejecutor: Unión Eloy Alfaro

Location:       Cantons of Río Verde, Eloy Alfaro y San Lorenzo, Province de Esmeraldas

FECD has worked in this zone since 2007, strengthening the fine aroma cocoa marketing system produced by small farmers of 6 base organizations that have formed the "Eloy Alfaro Union of Handicraft Associations."  This organization is responsible for providing technical assistance and undertaking cocoa marketing in the canton of Rio Verde and communities in other neighboring cantons.

Within the zone, the organization has a number of nurseries reproducing genetic material and providing crop management and post-harvest technical assistance.  It also has a collection center in Chontaduro as well as strategically located sub-centers marketing quality products among the zone’s communities that ensure a fair price for producers.

Various producers already hold organic certification while others have now begun the process. The Union plans to directly export their produce.

By applying the Human Development with Focusing model, the Union’s organizational process has seen a significant decrease in levels of conflict. The Union maps out its own future while handling communication at management, technical and community level, features that have strengthened its position as a leader within the area.

“It's been a complete change, huge, because it’s increased our capabilities, something useful that we didn’t have before ... the most important thing is that FECD has been welcomed by us, the farmers.  They have taken an interest in the rural people, they really want to see development.  Now we know how to look after our farms and we now receive better prices.  Before, the dealers paid us a low price, now life treats us more fairly”.
 
Manuel Vélez, farmer, Walte, canton of Río Verde, province of Esmeraldas

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