Bigger profits for sun-dried cocoa
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CTA. 2006. Bigger profits for sun-dried cocoa. Spore 122. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48053
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore122.pdf
A new technique is helping cocoa farmers in Uganda earn better prices for their crop up to 25% more in some cases...
A new technique is helping cocoa farmers in Uganda earn better prices for their crop up to 25% more in some cases. Cocoa is a major earner of foreign exchange in Uganda, but to fetch the best price, quality is essential and for this the cocoa must be dried until its water content is about 7% of its weight. Too much moisture affects the cocoa's scent and flavour and can encourage the growth of mould. The traditional method of drying in the open leaves the beans vulnerable to rain, wind or cloudy days that slow the process. At Uganda s Luzira cocoa processing plant, an Italian chocolate company has introduced a simple but highly effective new technology, based on a special type of plastic sheeting that converts the sun's ultra-violet rays into infra-red. The beans are spread out to dry beneath the plastic after workers have rubbed them over sieves to remove any dust or mould. The polythene sheeting produces temperatures of 50 to 60°C, which dries the cocoa to perfection. Units based on the new technology cost 70/m² including the aluminium frames to support them. The average small-scale producer would need a capacity of between 10 and15 m², and costs can be offset by using the driers for other crops, including coffee, vanilla, chillies and maize, off season. The company is helping small-scale producers find loans and is providing know-how, as well as guaranteeing the purchase of what it says is a superior product. According to the managing director, the savings depend on the amount of sun otherwise available, and on other variables. But the strong point is that it produces consistently good quality. Producers may see an increase in 10-15% in terms of quantity and 20-30% in terms of quality. ICAM s.p.a. Via Pescatori, 53 23900 Lecco LC Italy Fax: +39-0341-360176 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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