Where Cacao Grows: A Few Words About Planters, Plantations, and Support for Them.
The Dominican Republic, a country where vibrant landscapes and heavenly flavors intertwine. During our stay, we had the pleasure of experiencing the captivating world of Cacao cultivation firsthand, along with many other aspects related to plantations.
Cacao farmers earn income from selling Cacao beans for only a few months a year (typically three, unless there are fall harvests, in which case it’s five). They minimize expenses on labor assistance, trying to handle the entire process of harvesting and processing the beans themselves. Often, they do not receive proper compensation for their hard work. That is why organizations have emerged to ensure that every planter has a chance to receive the best price for their beans and expand their activities.
During our journey to the Dominican Republic, we visited two organizations supporting Cacao farmers: Aprocaci and Conacado. These organizations are actively changing the situation for owners of small agricultural farms while implementing innovative programs, teaching new cultivation methods, and introducing the concept of demonstration plots.
Aprocaci and Conacado: Strength in Numbers
The people of the Dominican Republic are open to cooperation and collaboration. It is no surprise, then, that associations like Aprocaci (Association of Cacao Producers) and Conacado (National Confederation of Cacao Farmers) have been formed, playing a crucial role in connecting small agricultural farms with international markets. These organizations act as bridge builders, connecting farmers with chocolate connoisseurs worldwide.
Imagine the joy on the faces of planters when they receive fair prices for their carefully nurtured Cacao beans.
Through Cacao “cooperatives,” Aprocaci and Conacado empower these committed farmers, uniting them as a force in the global cocoa industry.
Take a look at what a Cacao “cooperative” looks like:
Conacado is an organization that drives the success and strengthens the position of Cacao growers in the Dominican Republic. Its activities are based on cooperation, bringing together thousands of small farmers from across the country. By joining forces, these farmers gain a competitive advantage in negotiating fair prices, accessing resources, and increasing overall competitiveness in the global market.
However, Conacado’s impact goes beyond economic benefits. The organization places a strong emphasis on social responsibility and community development. They strive to improve the quality of life for farmers and their families by providing educational opportunities, access to healthcare, and infrastructure improvements in rural areas.
Conacado also promotes sustainable agricultural practices and environmental management. Through training programs and technical assistance, they educate farmers on best practices in Cacao cultivation, including soil protection, agroforestry, and eco-friendly pest control. By adopting these sustainable methods, farmers can protect the delicate ecosystems surrounding their farms while ensuring long-term profitability of Cacao production.
Moreover, Conacado actively collaborates with international organizations, NGOs, and government entities to lead social and environmental initiatives.
In the realm of Cacao cultivation, the partnership between Aprocaci and Conacado has created a powerful ecosystem of support for small farm owners in the Dominican Republic. Together, these organizations advocate for the cause of farmers, ensuring that their voices are heard, their efforts are recognized, and their livelihoods are secured. Through joint endeavors, Aprocaci and Conacado are writing an extraordinary story of sustainable development and strengthening their position in the world of Cacao cultivation.
You might wonder why we are telling you all this.
Well, one of the programs supported by these organizations is the establishment of demonstration plots and the transformation of old farms into modern plantations. Intriguing, isn’t it? So let’s continue on our journey…