Social and Economic Empowerment of Women Cocoa Producers
Dimitra Incorporated, a global agtech company on a mission to make its technology available to farmers globally, is working with REDMUCH, an organization in Honduras that, when translated to English, means “Network of Cocoa Woman Farmer and Chocolatiers of Honduras.” The organization currently consists of around 350 farmers, with the majority of them being female. As a whole, they work together to empower and support women in the agriculture industry.
To start with, Dimitra and REDMUCH are analyzing the cocoa industry’s needs to see where they can make a difference. In addition, the REDMUCH farmers will be using technologies available on Dimitra’s existing platforms, such as Connected Farmer and Connected Coffee. Based on the findings in this partnership, Dimitra is exploring the development of an official Connected Cocoa platform. The new platform will contain all of the necessary technological tools. These tools help cocoa farmers increase yields, mitigate risks, and reduce costs.
The challenges in the cocoa sector currently surround increasing productivity and international sales. An additional challenge includes the certification of organic and fair trade. This partnership is a proactive approach to tackling these industry challenges.
Ana Jency Dubón Macedo, President of REDMUCH and Calvin Funez from Honduras Conecta, Dimitra’s Honduras Partner
Women in the agricultural workforce
Currently, women make up approximately 45% of the workforce in agriculture around the world. But with gender pay gaps, local policy limitations, and insufficient access to the latest farming technologies, many women in agriculture today remain underpaid.
It is estimated that food production could increase by 30% if female farmers had equal access as males in this vital workforce. To put it another way, combating some of the challenges women face within the industry is one of the reasons this initiative has come to fruition. By helping women overcome the barriers they face and providing them with the tools needed for self-empowerment, we can make a thriving economy a reality.
REDMUCH is a remarkable network for several reasons. First, it is dedicated to the production and transformation of the cocoa industry. As a result, it contributes to increasing productivity and business potential. Just as important, it is a massive advocate for women. They have created a unique and supportive network for Honduran women. More specifically, enabling women who participate in the different links of the cocoa chain to communicate and exchange experiences.
With this in mind, REDMUCH, with the support of national and international organizations, seeks the organizational, social, and economic empowerment of women cocoa producers and processors. They are seeking this so that their participation in the cocoa value chain in Honduras is active, remarkable, and admirable.
What makes Honduras cocoa so special?
The famous Honduran chocolate tastes like a mix of chocolate, cinnamon, and pinol. It is proudly derived from 100% Honduran crops, with cocoa being the primary ingredient. The unique chocolate is double certified, organic, fair trade, and made with high-quality cocoa. In fact, Honduras, at the Central American level, stands out for being the country that occupies second place in cocoa production.
Honduras cocoa doesn’t just provide the base for delicious chocolate, but it also provides a series of ecological benefits. Firstly, since the cocoa bean grows from an evergreen tree, planting more cocoa trees means reducing the impact of deforestation. Moreover, the trees transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, generating a healthy ecosystem and promoting biodiversity.
In addition to the ecological benefits, cocoa also benefits the community of Honduras.
The crop is linked to generating direct employment within the community, benefiting many people in the cocoa-growing sector. According to the Honduras National Cocoa Chain Committee, there are more than 5,000 producing families, more than 20,000 jobs generated and more than 7,000 hectares planted in nine departments. Furthermore, in addition to cocoa benefiting the economy, it also has health benefits due to its high nutritional value, aesthetics, and cognitive abilities.
Calvin Funez from Honduras Conecta, Dimitra’s Honduras Partner, says, “We are thrilled to announce this new stepping stone towards the sustainability of cocoa production in Honduras. I foresee a very fruitful partnership with REDMUCH and look forward to beginning our first project together.”
Ana Jency Dubón Macedo, President of REDMUCH, says, “My expectation is that this new technology will give us a great boost in the traceability management of our cocoa-producing farms and the added value that we give to our raw material. The positive impact on the agricultural sector is increasing yields, mitigating risks, reducing costs, etc. This improves the quality of life of our producing families. And the positive environmental impact that having this platform brings. I really feel that this brings us a great opportunity and hope for us as REDMUCH from all the links in the cocoa chain.”
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