The Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Alvaro Garcia Linera, together with the Minister of Rural Development and Land, César Cocarico, and the FAO Representative in Bolivia, Crispim Moreira, launched a national programme to strengthen cocoa production at an event in Bolivia on 10 July.
The event brought together senior government officials, rural economic organizations, and members of the indigenous community.
The programme, established with input from the members of the National Federation of Cocoa Producers and Collectors of Bolivia (COPRACAO), will provide an investment of USD $46 million in family cocoa production and collection over the next 5 years.
COPRACAO was established in 2013, and strengthened in 2015 through the facilitation of the El Ceibo cooperative supported by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), a partnership between FAO, IIED, IUCN and AgriCord.
FFF played a catalytic role in support of COPRACAO’s members who contributed to the approval of the new national policy and to the preparation and design of the national programme.
COPRACAO targets crops grown in agroforestry systems and the upgrading or restoration of native cocoa production systems, which in Bolivia, are produced exclusively by family farmers and indigenous communities.
The national programme will be implemented through the Ministry of Rural Development and Land which has committed to a five year work plan. FAO and the Forest and Farm Facility will facilitate the implementation process.
Approximately 8,200 farmers and family farmers in 5 departments of Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, Pando, Beni and Santa Cruz) will receive technical assistance and supplies to generate higher incomes by increasing the production of cultivated and wild cocoa.