On the evening of December 6, 2022, at the residence of the Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Bogota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture officially launched its $33 million Cacao for Development (C4D) program, the department’s largest singular investment in Colombian agriculture to date. C4D is developing new models of farming cacao and complementary crops in Colombia for export to high value markets globally, including the United States. These new models help close the income gap for farmers and promote sustainable practices.
Colombia ranks 10th globally in total cacao production and 11th globally in cacao bean exports. With 2.8 million hectares of suitable land and as a major producer of fine or flavor cocoa, Colombia has high potential to become a global market leader in the cacao trade.
The launch event brought together entities on the forefront of building the future of the Colombian cacao sector including the Colombian Minister of Agriculture, who highlighted the global recognition and awards Colombian cacao has received for its quality and uniqueness; the Colombian Congress; Colombia’s leading research institutions; the private sector; ProColombia, and Fedecacao.
C4D is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress program and is implemented by Partners of the Americas. C4D will run from 2021 to 2026 and support 5,500 farmers across 12,000 hectares by strengthening the cacao infrastructure along the value chain, providing rural extension services, integrating complementary crop and agroforestry models into farms, and supporting farmers to utilize carbon credits for the first time as an additional source of income.
Leading up to the event on December 6, Partners of the Americas signed an agreement with Compañia Nacional de Chocolates and Fundación Nutresa to partner in strengthening extension services to farmers as part of the C4D program. This agreement will funnel resources to over 2,000 producers in Magdalena, Cesar, Antioquia, Córdoba, Caldas, Tolima, and Huila. Fundación Nutresa and Compañia Nacional de Chocolates are committing over $1,000,000 in cash and in-kind contributions to this partnership, helping smallholder farmers to increase productivity on their farms.
For more information on the program, visit C4D’s website: https://co.linkedin.com/showcase/cacao-for-development