SEPS Project: Improving the Value Chain of Cacao Production in Ecuador

One of our SEPS projects, entitled “Growing Esmeraldas with Renewable Energy”, aims to improve cacao production and processing in Ecuador in ways that also restore the region’s fragile natural environment and improve lives and livelihoods, while enhancing the resilience of rural communities in the face of climate change.

While the overall project design and feasibility study were part of last year’s activities, the recent project phase included the implementation of renewable energy technologies such as biodigesters and solar dryers, as well as the delivery of training programmes to secure their installation, use and management. Training sessions also included the dissemination of know-how on improving cacao cultivation and subsequent market access for local produce.

Over the course of the last few months, ten individual family-owned biodigesters have been successfully installed. Furthermore, three of the nine envisaged solar dryers for cacao are in operation, with the remaining six to be installed in the coming weeks.

More than 80 hours of practical field training on improving cacao bean cultivation have been delivered to over 40 participants, while 15 local operators have received hands-on experience in the use, maintenance and management of the new technologies. Consultations and negotiations with cacao value chain actors to ensure appropriate prices for sustainably produced cacao from CRECER’s communities are still ongoing.

More general information is available on our project page Growing Esmeraldas with renewable energy and additional photos are on the WISIONS Facebook page.

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