08 Feb

More than 100,000 families are engaged in cocoa production in Peru

The main international markets to which Peruvian cocoa is exported in its various forms are The Netherlands, the United States, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Spain, the United Kingdom, among others.

In Peru, more than 100,000 families are dedicated to cocoa production in 16 regions, and it is an important source of family agriculture, according to estimates by the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri).

The cocoa plant is grown in tropical soils between 300 and 900 metres above sea level. Its production in the country has grown exponentially in this century.

In 2000 only 24,786 tonnes of cocoa were produced, by 2010 it had almost doubled to 46,613 tonnes, by 2016 it had exceeded 100,000 tonnes and by 2019 production had reached 135,928 tonnes.

However, its price has not had the same rising behaviour, the kilo of cocoa in the chacra has oscillated around S/ 6 in recent years, having reached S/ 7.33 on average in 2016, according to Midagri data.

Cocoa prices move with respect to their international quotation. In 2015 it peaked at US$ 3,361 a tonne, in 2017 it dropped to US$ 1,918, reports the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO); however, it is already trading at around US$ 2,550 in the last week of January this year, according to indices on Wall Street.

Cocoa has enormous potential in the country. It has become an alternative product to illegal coca cultivation and has achieved important results in the San Martin region, from where a model of illegal crop substitution has spread to other parts of the country.

This product also has its special date, the “National Day of Cocoa and Chocolate”, which is celebrated in Peru every October 1, instituted by Ministerial Resolution No. 538-2011-AG.


The main international markets to which Peruvian cocoa is exported in its various presentations are the Netherlands, United States, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Spain, United Kingdom, among others.

“The potential of cocoa in Peru is tremendous. Between 2008 and 2020, Peru is the country with the highest growth rate in the world, with a rate of 17.9% per year. The Peruvian Amazon is the cradle of origin of cocoa. In other words, the conditions are perfect for this native tree,” emphasises Tamshi’s quality manager, David Contreras.

Contreras also points out that world production in 2020 was 4.7 million tonnes of dry cocoa beans. The average annual growth trend was 2.1% over the last 15 years.

“There are two important trends that Peruvian producers can take advantage of, the biggest growth comes from Asia, i.e. there are new trade routes to be developed, such as China, Singapore, etc.,” Contreras stresses.

“High-quality fine cocoa segments and perfect traceability requirements are the new dominant trends in the market,” he adds.

This demand, he said, is why the sector must focus on quality and added value.

“Training, research and the application of professional methods must be pushed to help producers and small farmers to position themselves and not simply remain in producing poor quality crops,” he said.

Tamshi’s experience

Cocoa production has a fundamental impact on rural communities in the country, is the case of Tamshi, a company dedicated to the sustainable production of high quality cocoa in Loreto, which since 2018 has new owners, and with some 2,500 people depending on it.

“The Agroforestry Systems (Saf) with native cocoa trees generated by Tamshi offer a biodiverse ecosystem, where, alongside the cocoa trees, native fauna and flora coexist, producing environmental services that migratory agriculture, extensive cattle ranching, illicit crops and illegal mining do not offer,” highlights Tamshi’s head of quality, David Contreras.

Government support

The Compensation Programme for Competitiveness (Agroideas), which co-finances agricultural development projects, has since its creation approved 87 business plans for more than S/ 42.6 million, in favour of projects of small cocoa producers.
Of this amount, Agroideas invested S/ 31.3 million and the counterpart of the agricultural producers’ organisations amounted to S/ 11.3 million. These co-financed projects benefited more than 7,000 cocoa producers in 13 regions of the country.
In 2020, the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, Agroideas approved 14 business plans that required an investment of S/ 7.1 million, of which Agroideas co-financed S/ 5.3 million, while the agricultural organisations invested S/ 1.8 million.
With this investment, 1,900 hectares of cocoa will benefit 761 small family farmers in Junín, San Martín, Loreto, Cajamarca, Pasco and Amazonas.

Cocoa and chocolate fair

An important boost also to Peruvian cocoa is the realization since 2010, the event “Salon del cacao y chocolate”, in which producers and all those involved in the value chain, participate, promoting their products and recognizing the most outstanding, to better position them in the national and international market, in a joint effort of the private and public sectors and international cooperation.

Source: El Peruano

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