Cacao farmer image

Pre-harvest support

The COLCO project is supporting cacao farmers in the pre-harvest stage through in-person capacity development of field technicians and a set of smartphone apps to enable:

  • field-level and region-level monitoring
  • weather forecasting
  • crop health insights
  • support for daily and seasonal production decisions

Farmers also receive support from specialist Plant Doctors to help them identify and treat any crop pests or diseases that may be occurring, and have access to a library of factsheets on crop pests, diseases and nutritional deficiencies that can be downloaded to their devices and used offline, which is crucial in areas with limited connectivity such as cacao farms.

Post-harvest support

Smallholder farmers in Colombia have limited tools and technologies for managing the cacao fermentation process which contributes up to 70% of the aroma and flavour profile. To ensure consistency in the cacao fermentation and drying process, the project has designed and built a system that monitors key process characteristics and delivers process control through an offline web-app. The app is in constant development, evolving as user needs become apparent through pilot deployments.

Quality assessment

Subjectivity in quality assessment results in limited transparency and trust between buyers and sellers of cacao. The lack of digital technologies at the point of commercialisation limits the cacao supply chain’s ability to deliver traceable cacao. The COLCO project has developed an app for any organisation that buys cacao e.g. cooperatives, associations, manufacturers, and exporters, to predict cacao quality based on fermentation quality and bean index. The app is in constant development, evolving as user needs become apparent through demonstrations

cacao beans drying

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