High flavor cocoa from the Amazone
Historically, indigenous peoples in Peru have been among the most marginalized of society. Many of these indigenous people live in poverty and struggle to keep their culture and traditions alive. One of these communities is the Awajun. The Awajun people have seen their traditional lifestyle changed a lot. Originally being an isolated tribe living from what the forest gave them through hunting and gathering, they were faced with the challenge to integrate in modern society and to look for sources of cash income.
Most Awajun have sought to create an income by agricultural production and sales of wood products from the native forest. But their agricultural and forest management practices are not sustainable and create serious threats for the ecosystem they live in.
In order to jointly work on improving their agricultural practices and cocoa processing, it is important that the farmers get organized into farmer groups. Well organized farmer groups can also arrange more direct access to international markets and are able to negotiate better prices for their cocoa. Trainings on how to implement and monitor good and climate smart agricultural practices need to be implemented, so productivity will increase and become sustainable for the long term. Post harvest processing practices and infrastructure need to be improved to make sure the Awajun can deliver the quality cocoa the current market is demanding.
Cocoa production in an agroforestry setting will allow the Awajun on the one hand to develop cash crops to increase their income and improve their livelihoods and on the other hand to contribute to the conservation of their fragile and important eco-system. It is expected that professional agroforestry systems will lead to reduced deforestation and stop negative impacts on biodiversity.
Angel Mario Martinez Garcia: firstname.lastname@example.org