- facilitating access to marketing channels;
- improving productivity;
- coming up with new forms of marketing for certain products;
- ooking at ways of processing primary products.
What does this involve?
PTo achieve this, the project team has introduced various marketing initiatives for cacao-associated products. These include:
- incorporating into the existing agroforestry systems species that are easy to produce and appropriate to the producer’s local situation and the market (such as hibiscus flower);
- identifying commercial outlets for products that are not very productive, not often commercially exploited or lost because they ripen before they can be sold, or whose market price fluctuates too widely (such as sapote and achiote);
- coming up with innovative uses for products that are not usually commercially exploited (barbecue sauce from sapote, powdered turmeric, ginger paste, etc.)
- training producers to carry out the different processing methods themselves and so that they can be part of the marketing process of cacao-associated products.
Processed products include preserves, dried products, powders, sauces and pastes made from produce such as achiote, turmeric, ginger, flor de Jamaica (dried hibiscus flowers) and orange blossom.
There are two major obstacles holding back the development of the Dominican cocoa industry: the low level of participation of women in cacao growing and the reluctance of the younger generation to take over, due to young people’s lack of enthusiasm for the farming life. Eighty percent of producers are aged over 60 and very few are aged under 40.
Conscious of these problems, we have deliberately recruited a majority of women to take part in the associated-product processing workshops. This helps make their role in farming more visible and gets them more involved in developing the project’s activities.
The diversification and innovation initiatives introduced in the project also encourage participation by young producers of both sexes who are looking for other ways of making a living in their village and off their land.