TheUniversity of British Colombia confirmed a few weeks ago something that manyyears ago Sergio Cedeño from Guayaquil, a member of the Academy of History,assured him. The prestigious center discovered in the Amazon traces of cocoamore than 5,300 years ago.
But Cedeño, who brought the new Ecuadorian cocoa to the highest point, the CCN 51, gives it more antiquity, “at least 10,000 years”, the same time that the first inhabitants stepped on American soil.
Cocoa, which is exported 400 years ago, does not stop making history. The first export product of the colonial era financed the Independence of Spain. The money came from the largest cacao producers of 1800: Vicente Rocafuerte, José Joaquín de Olmedo and Martín Ycaza. It was the same cocoa that revolutionized economic history when gestating the formation of national banking. The third revolution: the creation of the clone or twin CCN 51.
The Castro Naranjal 51 Collection is what has allowed Ecuador in the last decade to go from 100 thousand to 300 thousand metric tons of exports and reach the third place in the world, only after the Ivory Coast and Ghana. “We could reach 400,000 tons in three years,” says Cedeño.
The new cocoa boom has brought Barry Callebaut a few days ago, with Roberto Molisson at the helm. This company, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is the world’s leading manufacturer of cocoa products.
Cargill, another world leader in cocoa, is teaming up with Ernesto Pazos and Daniel Iturralde to open its cacao line in Ecuador to compete with Barry Callebaut.
Sergio Cedeño has been part of the development of CCN 51. Always close to the creator of this clone (Homero Castro +), he led the variety to grow commercially and achieve optimal fermentation. In his grandfather’s farm he still conserves part of the first 1,000 plants that he sowed and that allowed him to reach the top. Today the CCN 51 represents 70% of exports (30% national).
“Nobody wanted to know about cacao between 1920 and 1930, when the witch’s broom and the monastery arrived and destroyed the country economically, socially and politically, since 70% of Ecuador’s income was for cocoa.
At thetime there was no banana, flowers or shrimp.
Today all the multinationals arrive to the country for the yields of more than two tons of this cocoa, crossed with Trinitarian and Amazonian.
Olam Cocoa is also in the country; Mars, who acquired La Chola; Salpa, who bought two haciendas from CCN 51 and others that arrived earlier.
Wilson Montoya, expert in this product, notes that the CCN 51 became the most cultivated in Ecuador and thanks to it the largest companies arrive. There is yield of up to 70 quintals per hectare.
For Cedeño and Montoya, cocoa is a kind of ‘Ecuadorian miracle’, because it has improved the standard of living of the rural sector. A 7-hectare cocoa producer already has a better house, cement, and even a car, and his children study at the university.
‘Mygrandfather, first to sow’
SergioCedeño A. General Manager / Agricultural Cañas
How wascocoa CCN 51 from Ecuador born?
Homero Castro traveled for a title to Turrialba, Costa Rica, to the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences. He graduated as a cocoa technician in the year 52. His thesis deals with the propagation of asexual cacao, by rooted cuttings. He came to Ecuador and was employed by the gentlemen Encalada, in Naranjal, where he began crosses of Trinitarian varieties with Amazonian.
Wheredoes the planting of the clone begin on a more commercial scale?
In 1965, he managed to create CCN 51, the 51st tree, the best of the progeny. Already with about 100 trees he says my grandfather would like to plant about 1,000 trees of these to see them in the field; my grandfather tells him to put them in the hacienda La Sofia, he gives space to Homero and sows them in 1968. He then planted 10 hectares.
Was itinitially said that the quality of the seed was not good?
InAprocafa we did an investigation with Iniap and Corpei, who financed us: we arelooking for a new fermentation system. After years of studies we preparedchocolate (in bar) in Tulicor, by Eduardo Márquez, and we made him taste thebest taster in the world Edce Seuine (formerly of Mars), who was surprised bythe quality. (I)