Mexico experienced an approximate 50% reduction in the production of cocoa since the disease moniliasis (frosty pod rot) first struck cocoa farms in 2005. Of the two cocoa growing regions in Mexico, Chiapas has encountered significant obstacles in overcoming the effects of the disease. Together with local and international agricultural research institutes, AMCO is bringing varieties of cocoa tolerant to the Moniliasis disease to Mexico as part of a project designed to revive the cocoa production in Chiapas over the next 10 years.
The focus of the partnership is aimed at the renovation of farmland and the training of 650 producers located in the Soconusco region of Chiapas. The project will include the planting of a clone garden to produce material for the nursery that will serve the producers involved. Farmers received training in Good Agricultural Practices as well as renovation techniques. In 2011, farmers were trained and certified in Utz. The project estimates to increase yield among farmers and produce a 200% increase in farmer income and reach an estimated 2,600 beneficiaries. AMCO is working with local and international development organizations in project implementation.