RED - The Cacao Effect

Speeches Shim



The Cacao Effect fosters economic development by strengthening cacao value chains and by improving cacao farmers’ capacities and living conditions. The Cacao Effect is implemented through a public-private partnership between USAID, Luker Chocolate, the Luker Foundation, Enel-Colombia, the Saldarriaga Concha Foundation, EAFIT University, and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). Together these organizations are contributing USD $36.9 million, USD $ 6.9 million of which was contributed by USAID directly and USD $30 million of which was contributed by the private sector. This activity is being implemented in Bajo Cauca, Central-Southern Huila, Tumaco and Urabá, and runs from February 2019-January 2024.   

Low levels of education and aging cacao crops limit small-scale cacao farmers productivity and earning potential.  The Cacao Effect helps address these issues by planting “Fine Flavor Cocoa” anchor crops, operated by Luker Agrícola, that use the newest cacao growing technologies to improve cacao quality standards and crop productivity levels. These anchor crops serve as agricultural demonstration models for small-scale cacao farmers, and they are used to encourage investors, farmers, and other industries to participate in innovative cacao farming.  The Cacao Effect combines these anchor crops with other resilience, education, empowerment, and entrepreneurship activities to help improve farming communities’ capacities and general wellbeing.



The Cacao Effect increases cacao crop productivity through the establishment of two anchor crops.  It also promotes the use of new crop sowing and crop rehabilitation technologies on small-scale cacao farms.


The Cacao Effect provides technical assistance to cacao producers' associations to improve their technical, commercial, and administrative capacities.  The activity also strengthens women, youth and community leaders’ capacities to participate in entrepreneurship initiatives in their communities.


The Cacao Effect improves academic and social-emotional skills of the populations living close to cacao farms in Necoclí and Tumaco.


  • Trained 640 people in entrepreneurship with a gender approach;
  • Supported interventions on 1,590 hectares of small cocoa farmer crops;
  • Improved the organizational capacity of 19 cacao producers’ associations;
  • Increased the income of small cacao producers through cacao crops interventions;
  • Engaged 350 young people in Necoclí and Tumaco through vocational training programs; 
  • Strengthened social-emotional, academic and resilience competencies of community members in Necocli and Tumaco; and
  • Supported 20 entrepreneurship initiatives for cacao producing families, generating new revenue, and focusing on gender inclusion. 

Contact Information

Juan Carlos Londono


Last updated: July 08, 2022

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