San Martín, Peru. Within the context of a broader project on rural economic development in San Martín, Peru, WCF is supporting activities specific to cocoa farmers. Activities included establishing 189 demonstration plots for farmers to learn best practices such as pruning and fertilizer use, and conducting soil tests on 1,027 farms. Approximately 95% of farmers whose soil was tested adopted the subsequent recommendations for fertilizer application.
Many farmers chose not to prune their trees as they believed this practice was harmful to the tree and would decrease yields. However, after seeing the benefits, trained farmers are working together to prune their farms. Orlando Macedo Díaz, a farmer leader in the region of San Martín, Peru, notes that some farmers initially are reluctant to prune. “We pruned the trees of a woman who is a widow, and another farmer told her that we were ruining her trees, and she was discouraged,” he says. “But, we convinced her to trust our advice and she did. After some time, the woman noticed that there were more pods on her trees and she called to thank us and congratulate us. We felt very happy about that.”