Cocoa cultivation is one of the main venture commitments of Colombia due to the social and commercial potential offered by this crop. Even though Colombia is not ranked among the top cocoa producers in the world, its cultivation is especially relevant at national level since it is developed in rural areas where social conflicts were common until a decade ago. From the commercial standpoint, the main exporting strength of Colombia focuses on fine cocoas (special and aroma-rich varieties). The Department of Santander is the main cocoa - producing region of Colombia. The purpose of this work is to present the socioeconomic and productive characterization of cocoa cultivation in this region of Colombia. This analysis is important since it serves as the support for the development of programs aiming at quality and competitiveness improvement as well as for determining the application of new agricultural techniques. In this sense, this research becomes the starting point for effective intervention in Colombia. The information for this study comes from a representative sample composed by 187 cocoa farmers located in this region. Results indicate that cocoa production in the Department of Santander is founded on very traditional activities where the age of farmers and their level of education can represent a hindrance for the adoption of new technologies. Furthermore, cocoa farming has two additional challenges consisting in the fighting against the monilia fungal disease and the Witches’ Broom disease, the two main pathologies affecting this crop.


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