There are more than 600,000 hectares of cacao planted in Ecuador, and more are grown each day. But it is not enough: we must improve productivity and take care of quality. Even more so in adverse weather conditions like the current one, where low temperatures threaten the harvest.
Expert Franklin Borbor, who spoke to dozens of farmers last week during the inauguration of the Nestle Pruning and Grafting School of the Nestlé company, focused on weed control and its effect on quality. But he also calculated to Diario EXPRESO that the current climate will reduce production by 10%. No more.
This will not only happen in cocoa, but in other products. This can cause a hulp of fruit. When there is not enough sun the harvest is also late.
Cocoa needs an integral job and hence the need to prune and graft plants to improve yields in peps and in money.
There are 300 farmers in six provinces who will be trained in these subjects.
The five keys of Borbor are: to use a good material of sowing, good selection of soil, good fertilization, rational pruning, adequate and timely irrigation. “Pruning is important. Now what people do is indiscriminate pruning that excessively removes foliage and creates production problems. Only 25% of the foliage should be removed. ”
Cocoa has improved living conditions, but recommends that it can be better still with good agricultural work and post-harvest. And in the latter, even the excess of weeds influences, since weeds of impregnated weeds have been found, like ticks, in the seeds, lowering the quality of the fruit.
Recommend to keep the drying sheds clean of weeds like the treadmill. Markets could restrict the national product if they find seeds of these in cocoa.
Margarita Figueroa and Édison Verduga are part of this School of Pruners and Injectors. They have learned to remove excess branches and infected ears of monkeys. Both are from Mocache, Los Ríos, and if they had more land, they would plant more cocoa of the CCN51 variety.
After banana and shrimp, cocoa is the traditional product that generates the most foreign currency in the country.
In the countryside
Ecuador has 573,516 hectares planted, of which 446,266 are on the Coast, according to INEC statistics.
Los Ríos and Manabí have the largest number of hectares, but it is in Guayas that there is greater productivity. (I)