- With the support of the MOCCA program and Lutheran World Relief, the CACAONICA cooperative, from Waslala, Nicaragua, expanded its reach from 290 cocoa farmers to almost 500 producers in 2 years.
- MOCCA is a 7-year initiative funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Food for Progress Program, which seeks to improve agricultural productivity and expand trade in agricultural products. The MOCCA project is being executed by a consortium led by TechnoServe, Lutheran World Relief leads the cocoa activities.
“The Cooperative of Agroforestry Services and Marketing of Cocoa R.L.” or CACAONICA as it is known, is a grassroots organization located in the municipality of Waslala in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCN) of Nicaragua. The Cooperative is one of the producer organizations served by MOCCA in this country, and provides training through a network of 20 community promoters on best practices in cocoa production, such as design and establishment of plantations, nurseries, pruning, grafting, soil management, pest management, and harvesting, among others. The Cacao Móvil application, www.cacamovil.com, has been the main training tool for cocoa producers in the area.
Thanks to MOCCA’s support, CACAONICA went from serving 290 producers to almost 500 in 2 years of implementation. Producers are distributed in 42 communities in the municipalities of Waslala and Siuna, which are dedicated to the production of certified organic cocoa, Small Producers’ Symbol (SPP), and Rainforest Alliance.
Field trainings with farmers have been a main component for continuity in the MOCCA project as well as the Mapa Regional de Sabores del Cacao (Regional Map of Cocoa Flavors), this has allowed an improvement in quality processes, visualization of origins and organoleptic characteristics of the cocoa offered by CACAONICA to better connect with buyers who are looking for unique cocoa flavor profiles and characteristics.
Denis Escorcia, CACAONICA’s Administrative Manager, reported that: “Cascade trainings have allowed the organization to reach its organizational growth, and now in 2022 it is serving 497 cocoa producers, with a consolidated network of 20 community promoters. We feel more united, as a single family, accessing new markets and fostering development within our communities”
Until 2020, Belgium was the main market for organic cocoa processed under Mapa de Sabores protocols, with sales up to 10 tons.
In 2021, CACAONICA signed a contract for 20 tons with the U.S. company CAFE CHAVALO in response to greater market acceptance and demand.
Other important achievements in marketing include a price increase of 18.91% on cocoa sold under other protocols, and a price increase of 22.29% on cocoa sold under the Cocoa Flavors Map protocols.
As of September 2022, 7 tons have been marketed with Silva Cacao and a commercial relationship was initiated with Calayos Chocolate in Nicaragua.
“As a CACAONICA promoter one has the opportunity to promote changes and improvements in the farms of cocoa growers. The meaning of “Support the development of my organization” and “MAXIMIZE OPPORTUNITIES” as the MOCCA project describes it, consists of developing new technical skills in cocoa producers, so they can increase their productivity and profitability”Eliezer Pérez
Comunidad de Cubalí, Nicaragua