Economic Empowerment Through Community Co coa Production
15 September 2023
Economic Emp owerment Through Community Co coa Production Today in the villages of Mibenga and Ilebo, nestled along the edge of the Tumba Lediima Nature Reserve in western Demo- cratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), community members have been working hard to improve the cocoa production in their Community Forests, as a way to boost their income while sus- tainably managing their forest lands. [...] One of the first things that USAID’s partner Rainforest Foundation United Kingdom (RFUK) and the project partners ASSECCAF and GASHE worked to do was to transform the existing approach of mutual aid and assistance within the communities into an organized management body for cocoa production, to awaken a collective awareness within the community that there is no development without local initiative. [...] Through the exchange of experiences, knowledge and capacity-building in organizational terms, the understanding and willingness of the communities to participate in the scheme grew, and also led to workshops on how to improve their cultivation, collection, and processing techniques. [...] The producers were trained on how to evaluate the quality of the beans, and use the result of the evaluation to fix the price of their cocoa. [...] The contents of this article are the responsibility of RFUK and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.