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Discover how blockchain technology can revolutionize the cacao industry, promoting fairness and sustainability.

The Connected Cacao app, developed by AgTech firm Dimitra, leverages blockchain technology and AI to provide cacao farmers with a centralized platform that streamlines their farming operations and enhances traceability within their supply chains.

Despite chocolate’s global popularity, cacao bean farmers often face poverty and financial hardship, earning just an average of 6% of the final chocolate bar price. Limited access to direct market channels and reliance on intermediaries result in lower incomes for cacao farmers, who typically operate on small and fragmented farms, lacking the collective bargaining power needed to secure fair prices for their high-quality produce.

Blockchain-Powered AgTech for Cacao Farmers Dimitra, a prominent agricultural technology (AgTech) company, has launched the Connected Cacao app to tackle these challenges and equip farmers with tools and knowledge to manage their production processes effectively. Dimitra is collaborating with various partners, including the Peruvian Association of Cocoa Producers (APPCACAO), Helvetas, Open Food Chain, ABRAFRUTAS, and the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE/RR), to introduce its innovative app to farmers in the region. These partnerships aim to leverage blockchain technology to enhance efficiency, traceability, and sustainability in cacao farming.

The Connected Cacao platform utilizes blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to offer farmers a centralized platform for managing all aspects of their farming operations, from crop planning and cultivation to harvesting, fermentation, and drying. This system optimizes resource allocation, reduces waste, and boosts productivity.

Additionally, the app incorporates a traceability feature that generates tamper-proof records, documenting each cacao bean’s journey from the farm to the consumer. This transparency builds trust among buyers, providing access to premium markets and fair pricing.

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Addressing Deforestation and Promoting Sustainability The recent EU regulation requiring cacao producers to prove their beans are not sourced from deforested areas has imposed strict environmental standards on farmers. Dimitra addresses this challenge by seamlessly integrating its app with the Deforestation Compliance Module, enabling farmers to track and document their land-use practices easily.

According to Diego Costa, Dimitra’s Director of Latin America, this digital record serves as evidence of compliance:

“Connected Cacao is a pioneering platform, as cacao producers, unlike other crops, don’t have many platform options to help them in their operations. It is a chain of mostly smallholders and family farmers who need help to continue their production and export to the European Union, which was previously threatened by the EU’s new deforestation laws.”

The platform’s analytics tools enable farmers to monitor their performance and make informed decisions about their operations. Furthermore, the app offers a knowledge hub containing educational materials on cacao farming, pest management, and market trends. It encourages farmers to adopt sustainable practices such as water conservation and organic farming, aligning with the growing demand for fair trade products.

Several cooperatives and organizations in Latin America have already embraced the Connected Cacao app to improve the livelihoods of their members and promote sustainable cacao production. Dimitra collaborates with governments, NGOs, farmer collectives, and cooperatives worldwide to identify opportunities where innovative technologies like blockchain and AI can make a meaningful difference in the agricultural sector.