Peruvian rainforest is slowly but surely depleting. The Amazon region of Peru is home to impenetrable forests and some of the most diverse indigenous communities. However, modern ways of living and consumerist demands have pushed local communities to turn to agriculture, resulting in loss of habitat and forest ecosystems. To discourage farmers from clearing forests and engaging in conventional agriculture, TechnoServe partnered with Apahuit cooperative in San Martin. Apahuit is an aggregator of organic cocoa and this partnership is expected to help local farmers turn to growing cash crops that are less harmful to the forests but also more profitable.
If you were wondering what is the connection between cocoa and Peru, don’t forget that South America is the home of chocolate. Chocolate has been consumed right across Mexico, Central America and even South America for thousands of years. Now, this bean may come to the rescue of Amazon rainforests. Cocoa can be grown in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner without harming forest ecology. This is why, encouraging farmers to grow cocoa in place of other crops can be good for both the farmers and the local ecology.
Organic cocoa is in demand across the world and it is a well known fact that organic cash crops fetch more profits in the market than conventionally grown crops. In a way, encouraging the community of San Martin to grow organic cocoa is a double edged sword to tackle deforestation and economic backwardness of indigenous people. By growing crops like cocoa, indigenous people are incentivized to stop converting forests into farmland. This is a serious issue in Peru where forests are fast depleting and ecological imbalance has already begun to take place.
If you would like to learn more about how people in the Peruvian Amazon live and would like to trek through the jungles or live with indigenous people for a few days, do contact us. We have customized programs for every kind of traveller to experience the beauty and diversity of Amazonia.