Great news from the Peruvian jungle

09-01-2019

A month ago, I was in the jungle of Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, to take photographs and to do some interviews with the managers, workers and members of our client “Cooperativa Agraria de Servicios Múltiples Tambopata Candamo (COOPASER)”. This is how I got the opportunity to learn about the story of President Cirilo Sanchez, one of the cooperative’s founders.

Among the cacao plantations and some timber trees, Don Cirilo explained to me that in Peru, Madre de Dios is one of the regions that are most affected by deforestation due to illegal mining and migratory crops. This is why, in 2014, COOPASER was founded as part of the AIDER project "Reduction of Deforestation and Promotion of Sustainable Development in Madre de Dios". This initiative aimed to avoid the depredation of the Tambopata National Reserve through the implementation of agroforestry systems with fine aroma cocoa, in this way contributing to the area’s conservation and sustainable development.

Four years later, after receiving positive feedback on Agriterra, the cooperative contacted Bas Prins to work together. This is how, in 2018, the collaboration between Agriterra Peru and COOPASER begins.
Later, at the cooperative's facilities, I got the chance to talk to COOPASER’s general manager Nórbil Hidalgo. He shared with me some of the satisfactory achievements the cooperative obtained through its cooperation with Agriterra. The manager mentioned that the continuous support of the Agriterra business advisor, the workshops and the visits to exchange experience with cooperatives in Spanish Aragon resulted in the formulation and approval of the manual of procedures for human resources management and of the manual of administrative and financial procedures.
They also managed to implement the accounting software and to obtain a license for it, giving them access to the system.
In addition, they trained three people that now dedicate themselves exclusively to the post-harvest stage. As a result they can proudly present cocoa with a fermentation that exceeds 75%, a humidity of 7,5% and an excellent sensory profile, which has been validated by current and future customers who purchase the product and enter into agreements with the cooperative.
Finally, Nórbil Hidalgo added that this has had an impact on sales. To this date, 11 tons of quality cocoa have been sold for USD 28,500.00.

During this visit, I also met two Spanish agripoolers who were on a mission with COOPASER. The manager told me that, after the Spanish study tour, the cooperative’s directors came up with ideas to improve the services to COOPASER members. That is why Agriterra, with the support of Acodea, had set up a mission of two Spanish agripoolers to Madre de Dios from 19 to 23 November 2018, during which they would cooperate with the COOPASER management and field team. Together with Luis Miguel Lázaro, manager of the Cooperativa Agraria de San Lamberto, and José Antonio Escudero, Cooperativa Agraria San Antonio de Sastago, COOPASER was able to develop a business plan for agrarian services for the members.

These are the achievements obtained so far by our client in collaboration with Agriterra Peru. We are satisfied and we hope to continue with the business development of this new cooperative client.

Gisel Samanez, Agriterra Peru

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