Women from the two civil-war factions in Nicaragua came together to organise the “Association of Mothers and Victims of War”. They campaign for reconciliation and developing communities and against violence against women and children. And they all produce cocoa which they can retail on fair terms.
Waslala is a rural and mountainous municipality with a poorly developed business, financial and governmental structure and a region which was severely affected by the civil war. Most families here live in deep poverty, the majority from smallholder agriculture. The population is a mix of ethnic minorities, people displaced by the war and new settlers looking for a piece of land.
Cocoa: promotion of cultivation and value added
Solidar Suisse is promoting sustainable cultivation and added value in cocoa and chocolate production in Waslala, where the cocoa plant flourishes particularly well and there are several large plantations. The 250 members of the “Association of Mothers and Victims of War” are supported in the cultivation, storage and marketing of the cocoa, while other income opportunities are created with nurseries and a small factory for biological fertilisers and pesticides.
Supply agreements with the private sector
Since 2017 the Association has been investing in the infrastructure for the purchase and storage of cocoa. To improve the quality of the cocoa, technical support is being offered to the cocoa producers. In addition, 100 cocoa producers are being supported in the obtainment of certification. The Association buys cocoa both from its own members and from up to 200 external cocoa producers from the region, thereby enhancing the income of beneficiaries up to 20 percent. The Association was able to conclude a supply agreement with an international chocolate manufacturer in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The plan for the future is to conclude more long-term supply agreements with several chocolate manufacturers on sustainable and fair terms.