The Connected Cacao app, developed by AgTech company Dimitra, uses blockchain technology and AI to empower cacao farmers with a centralized platform to streamline their farming operations and enhance traceability throughout their supply chains.
Chocolate is one of the most popular sweets in the world, having evolved from a luxury to a widely consumed product. According to the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), around 7.3 million tons of chocolate are consumed annually worldwide.
Despite the global demand and popularity of chocolate, the farmers growing cacao beans face poverty and struggle to make a living, earning only an average of 6% of the final price of a chocolate bar.
Many cacao farmers struggle to find fair prices for their crops due to a lack of access to direct market channels. They often depend on intermediaries, resulting in lower incomes. Because cacao farmers work on small and fragmented farms, they lack the bargaining power to pool their resources and secure fair prices for their high-quality produce.
Blockchain-powered AgTech for cacao farmers
To address these challenges head-on and empower farmers with the tools and knowledge they need to manage their production processes, Dimitra, a leading agriculture technology (AgTech) company, has launched the Connected Cacao app.
To bring its innovative app to farmers in the region, Dimitra is working on projects with a variety of new partners, such as the Peruvian Association of Cocoa Producers (APPCACAO), Helvetas, Open Food Chain, ABRAFRUTAS and the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE/RR). These partnerships aim to utilize blockchain technology to help cacao farmers improve efficiency, traceability, and sustainability in their operations.
Dimitra and APPCACAO work together to strengthen the cacao industry in Latin America. Source: Dimitra
The Connected Cacao platform utilizes a combination of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide a centralized platform for farmers to manage their farms, from crop planning and cultivation to harvesting, fermentation and drying. This system helps to optimize resource allocation, reduces waste and increases productivity.
Furthermore, the app’s traceability feature generates tamper-proof records of each cacao bean’s journey from farm to consumer. This transparency instills confidence in buyers, opening doors to premium markets and fair pricing.
Dimitra’s Connected Cacao app helps increase productivity, expand international sales and obtain organic and fair trade certifications. Source: Dimitra
Combating deforestation and promoting sustainability
The EU's recent deforestation-free regulation, which requires cacao producers to demonstrate their beans are not sourced from deforestation, has also significantly burdened farmers, who now face strict environmental standards. Dimitra addresses this challenge by seamlessly integrating its new app with the company’s Deforestation Compliance Module, enabling farmers to easily track and document their land-use practices.
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 also allow farmers to track their performance and make informed decisions about their operations. In addition, the app provides a knowledge hub with educational materials on cacao farming, pest management and market trends. It also encourages farmers to adopt a range of sustainable practices, including water conservation and organic farming — in line with the growing interest in buying fair trade products.
Several cooperatives and organizations in Latin America are already using the Connected Cacao app, including, Helvetas, CEPROAA, APROCAM, PANGOA, Manasaba, La Divisoria, Cacao Alto Huallaga, CAI Apasc and Satipo. All of these cooperatives are working to improve the livelihoods of their members and promote the sustainable production of cacao.
Several organizations are already in the training phase and utilizing the Connected Cacao app as a tool. Source: Dimitra
Dimitra continuously innovates its products to meet the specific needs of farmers worldwide. The company partners with governments, NGOs, farmer collectives and cooperatives to reach thousands of smallholder farmers across the globe. Dimitra works within various farming communities to identify opportunities where new technologies like blockchain and AI can make a difference.Learn more about Dimitra
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