Lutheran World Relief partners with TechnoServe in new Latin American initiative to increase Ecuadorian cocoa productivity

Photo by Oscar Leiva for LWR

Lutheran World Relief partners with TechnoServe in new Latin American initiative to increase Ecuadorian cocoa productivity

  • John Rivera
  • Aug 20, 2019


  • The MOCCA (Maximizing Coffee and Cocoa Opportunities in the Americas) project will benefit an average of 5,000 cocoa producers nationwide, working on multiple challenges.
  • The project launch will be on Thursday, August 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the facilities of the Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas Cacaotera de Ecuador (Cantón Naranja, Guayas). It will be attended by Xavier Lazo, Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Guayaquil, Ecuador—The more than 750,000 coffee and cocoa producers in Central America and the Andean Region face multiple challenges. Old and unproductive plantations, diseases, pests and changes in climate are negatively affecting the production and quality of coffee and cocoa, which has forced some producers to abandon their crops and farms. This, in addition to factors like price fluctuations, insufficient technical capacity, lack of access to capital and quality genetic material for the renovation and rehabilitation of their plantations, has caused their incomes to decline.

The MOCCA (Maximizing Coffee and Cocoa Opportunities in the Americas) project, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food for Progress Program, will be implemented in Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The initiative will benefit more than 120,000 coffee and cocoa producers, as well as 1,230 organizations, increasing their productivity by as much as 33%. It will also support more than 950 clonal nurseries and gardens to provide high-quality genetic material for plantations. It will integrate 40,000 producers into high-value marketing models and provide $64 million (USD) in loans to 29,000 producers.

The MOCCA consortium of implementing partners is led by TechnoServe, which will also lead the project efforts related to the coffee value chain. Lutheran World Relief (LWR) will lead the efforts pertaining to the cocoa value chain. Other members of the consortium include World Coffee Research (WCR) and ISF (Small Producer Financing Initiative).

Through MOCCA, Lutheran World Relief is partnering in Ecuador with international NGO Rikolto to lead a comprehensive approach promoting cocoa production by increasing crops yields, improving cocoa quality, enhancing the professional capacity of both farmers and producer organizations, and facilitating linkages between cocoa buyers and sellers.

“Private sector participation in MOCCA is key,” says Carolina Aguilar, Lutheran World Relief’s cocoa director for MOCCA. “We are looking to leverage the resources of the private sector to drive incentives to develop a more resilient and growing cacao trade to achieve the changes required to truly support farmers. MOCCA is partnering with buyers, processors, exporters, trade associations, researchers, lenders, governments, donors and fellow project implementers — and together we will strengthen the cocoa market system to bring about greater shared value for all actors.”

Contact information for the event:

Kat Fiske – Senior Manager, Institutional Donor Marketing at Lutheran World Relief
@email  +1 410 625 6730

Rafael Valdez – Public Relations of the US Consulate (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
+593 4 371 7108 / +593 99 932 4949

John Rivera, Aug 20, 2019 email