Four years ago, Gilberto Amay alternated his orange, tangerine, pineapple and other crops with fine aroma cacao. He and his family live in the El Salado neighborhood of the Guadalupe parish in Zamora Chinchipe.
There, Amay owns three hectares of cocoa, where it has around 3,000 plants already in production. He says that at the beginning it was difficult to manage his farm in an organic way because it meant more effort.
Today he is proud to be one of the suppliers of cocoa in the province, and contribute to the ventures that emerged around chocolate. “We deliver a clean and quality product, which is important to generate added value,” says the producer.
Amay and six other producers have the technical support of Agropzachin Public Agricultural Company, of the Zamora Chinchipe Prefecture. The entity promotes the production of national cocoa, which starts with the socialization of the proposal, the production of nursery plants, grafting, maintenance, pruning, disease prevention, planting, among other activities.
The Prefecture mentions that at present, after a process of adaptation and sowing, the producers count on annual harvests that mean an additional economic sustenance for their homes.
In addition, the Agropzachin support allows beneficiaries to counteract pests and diseases, produce organic fertilizers on their farms, build nurseries and other tasks. César Patiño, responsible technician of the canton Zamora, mentions that in the Guadalupe farm they will work in the construction of a marquee to dry the cacao and a block of boxes to ferment the seed of the grain in slime. “We have gone from a process of planting cocoa to one that today gives results,” notes Patiño. Amay hopes that this support will continue, above all, through the new elected authorities. (I)