Gender Perspectives on Cocoa Production in Ecuador and Peru: Insights for Inclusive and Sustainable Intensification

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In coastal Ecuador, cocoa is grown almost exclusively by smallholder households and is traditionally produced using agroforestry practices. Cocoa production is one of the country’s major industries: employing 12% of the economically active population, it is the main source of cash for smallholder cocoa farmers (Blare and Useche 2014). However, smallholder cocoa producers are one of the most economically disadvantaged groups in Ecuador. For this reason, the success of the cocoa industry is seen as critical to alleviating rural poverty. Because of growing ecological concerns, Ecuador’s Government, bilateral aid agencies and NGOs have promoted cocoa agroforests as a means to allow poor farming households to meet their needs while employing sustainable practices. They view these agroforests as a means to provide benefits both in terms of livelihoods (access to income as well as food and medicinal crops) and ecological sustainability (pollution control, carbon sequestration, habitat creation, soil enhancement) (Blare and Useche 2015).
Authors: Ramos, C.; Paez-Valencia, A.M.; Blare, T.
Subjects: cocoa, gender, small scale farming
Publication type: Brief, Publication
Year: 2019

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