Achiote (Bixa orellana), ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) are three crops associated with cacao cultivation in the agroforestry models developed by Cacao Forest. As part of its related product marketing strategy, Earthworm Foundation recently held a number of product processing workshops for producers:
– Preparing achiote, ginger and turmeric powders,
– Producing achiote paste using different methods and recipes,
– Making different kinds of ginger sweets.
Cooproagro powder processing workshop with the theory course….
… and the practice one.
These workshops were designed with several aims in mind, including offering an alternative to selling fresh produce, which does not keep for very long and in some cases brings in little income. Processing extends their expiry date and adds value to these products, increasing the revenue they generate. The workshops also provide producers with food processing methods and tools that broaden their skills base and help reduce their dependence on selling cocoa beans alone.
The workshops were developed by Sebastián Cardenas for the producers involved with our local partners CONACADO and COOPROGAGRO. In all, six workshops took place, led by our Cacao Forest technicians Ana Montero and Kenia Suarez.
This initial series of workshops will be followed up by two other training sessions on making biscuits and preparing marinades.
In this way, we hope to interest producers, encouraging them to organise themselves individually or into a cooperative to develop an additional activity that will earn them extra income, especially since all of the ingredients used are grown organically.