Cacao for Peace
About Cacao for Peace
Colombia has a large agricultural sector that on average generates approximately 13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Approximately 80 percent of Colombian producers cultivate less than two hectares of land and are challenged by high production costs, inadequate market infrastructure, insufficient agricultural extension services, and slow technology transfer. In addition, rural violence and lawlessness have negatively impacted agricultural investments and growth. Working with multiple partners from the US and Colombia, the CFP project will support Colombia’s peace process by establishing a road map for post‐conflict agricultural development, focusing on cacao and facilitating initiatives to improve economic opportunity, stability, and peace in targeted rural areas (i.e. peace geography).
The Cacao for Peace Initiative will provide the necessary tools and resources to empower Colombian agricultural institutions to become a leading global supplier of fine cacao while taking advantage of the rapidly increasing global demand for chocolate. This initiative will create economic opportunities for both American chocolate manufacturers and thousands of Colombian farmers and their families.
As part of the Cacao for Peace project, Penn State is working with all project partners to help plan, manage and implement the various activities. PIs Siela Maximova and Mark Guiltinan are working with other Penn State faculty, staff and students to lead this project. We are engaged with our partners to help improve the cacao research, extension and education communities in Colombia and to directly impact cacao farmer lives.
This website serves as an information resource to our partners and the general public about the project activities. We hope it will inspire others to partner with us in this exciting project. We invite you to explore this website to learn more about the project and to contact us directly if you would like further information.
Mark Guiltinan and Siela Maximova – Cacao for Peace Penn State