Cocoa: Merida’s stronghold in communal production

Merida, September 26, 2022 (Press MinComunas) – The organized people of Merida have historically stood out for the production of essential items for human life. Being part of the Andes Mountain Range, this state enjoys productive soils and a privileged climate that provides valuables, such as coffee, cocoa, pineapple, banana, strawberry, blackberry, blackberry, corn, and black beans.

More specifically, in the Caracciolo Parra Olmedo parish, Tucani, cocoa is produced on a medium scale as a raw material for chocolate and cocoa liquor. Those responsible for this production are Che Guevara 2021 Socialist Commune members, which brings together approximately 550 producers.

Currently, this Commune produces dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa beans, and cocoa liquor, having as distribution centers some artisan stores in the municipality, retailers, and a small distributor in Merida city, which supplies the product to small stores.

This way, promoting cocoa production in the area results in the benefit of the enterprises that arise in areas such as gastronomy, seed cultivation, and training courses in cocoa and its derivatives.

Felipe Vanegas, a cocoa producer, detailed the benefits for the community of Tucani with the activation of the communal cocoa circuit: “It allows us to satisfy the community and leverage the economy of the community, especially at this time for the cocoa sector with the drop in prices. It would help the producers and favor the Commune’s economic environment”.

The People’s Power in Merida focuses on its potential as the only way to improve the quality of life in the territory.

“Our Commune is more than cocoa. The Commune is the organization and the possibility of developing another economic and social model to solve and advance in the adversities”, said Ernesto Cruz, member of the Executive Council of the Che Guevara Socialist Commune and cocoa producer of the area alongside his wife.

Merida state has environmental vulnerabilities, such as periods of heavy rains that result in the overflowing of rivers, loss of crops, and damage to homes. However, these negative aspects do not stop the will and commitment of the people of Merida. They are reinforcing their strengths and continuing cocoa production to benefit the processing plant workers and consumers.

Katy Lobo, Congresswoman of the Che Guevara Socialist Commune, referred to the concrete action around the cocoa economic circuit creation in Merida state. “For us, it is super important to continue strengthening this communal project as a legacy of our Commander Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias in this territory and that it be a showcase for the rest of the spaces under construction throughout the country,” she said.

The geographic space has potential at machinery, human resources, and soil levels. However, the Tucani community members request the accompaniment and articulation with the Ministry of Health, Ministry for Ecosocialism, and Ministry of Commerce and Agriculture to lighten the corresponding permits that the Commune needs to produce cocoa at a macro level.

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