Development of sustainable practices throughout Agricultural Field Schools

The months of March through September 2019 were transcendental for the Sustainable Business at República del Cacao. Thanks to the alliance generated with the International Export-DES Cooperation and the European Union, we have been able to develop our Agricultural Field Schools project in our cacao allied community in La Joya de los Sachas, Orellana province, Ecuador. 

According to FAO (Food & Agriculture Organization) "Agricultural Field Schools are field schools for farmers: is an approach based on people-centred learning. Participatory methods to create an environment conducive to learning: the participants can exchange knowledge and experience in a risk free setting."

Nine Agricultural Field Schools were carried throughout these past months which addressed topics on agro-ecosystem analysis, planting and beaconing practices, pruning and training pruning, field grafting, biological fertilization, among others. There were 37 allied farmers whom are part of our cacao allied community.

Our Agricultural Field Schools have generated opportunities for the development of interesting organizational processes in the community, more trained farmers were developed to meet market demands. Jose Sanchez, one of the allied farmers, mentions how “Learning by doing is one of the best learning methodologies. We work the land every day, but the added value that República del Cacao offers is the education on how to improve our work both in an agricultural and financial level".

José Merlo, Socio-Environmental Coordinator of the company deepens about the importance of this project, mentioning "these projects build a solid, transparent, long-term relationship, generating valuable field-city knowledge exchange". 

Our purpose at República del Cacao, is to manage projects that guarantee triple impact in its value chain: social, environmental and economic. By doing so, we not only guarantee chocolate quality and traceability but we also promote sustainable development.