Success in the Fields, Ecuador
In 2016, the SMS team in Ecuador worked directly with 1,563 UTZ- certified cocoa producers and 27 organic certified cocoa producers. The team completed 3,806 farm visits, auditing for compliance with certification norms and making technical recommendations on each individual farm.
Over 900 producers participated in farmer field day events where they were able to visit different stations hosted by Agroarriba and other partners, including fertilizer and irrigation providers, local banks and the Ministry of Health. They learned about good agricultural practices such as fertilization, pruning and disease control, irrigation as well as credit opportunities and community health concerns.
We continue to look for ways to improve service provision by validating technology packages for disease and pest control. There are a lot of products available on the market so it is important to continually test the effectiveness of those products and improve access to the recommended treatments. The results from our demonstration farms were analyzed at the end of 2016 and the new packages were made available to producers in 2017. This will complement the fertilizer program that has been in place since 2014.