We use cookies to optimize this website.
By using this website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.    Learn more

New market opportunities for smallholder farmers in the coffee and cocoa sectors "Emprende"

A large percentage of the Ecuadoran rural population lives in poverty and comprises mostly smallholder farmers. Their coffee and cocoa harvests are often very low. Soil fertility is decreasing and there are no opportunities for irrigation. Therefore, their products are often not competitive on global markets. However, Ecuador is a highly regarded country of origin for cocoa and coffee with enormous potential for growth in high-value agricultural products.

The Project

EMPRENDE is a project working to promote inclusive value chains and support smallholder farmer families. The project focuses on issues of productivity in cocoa and coffee planting. In addition, the project links smallholder farmers and their cooperatives with suppliers of vital inputs (e.g. fertilizers) and buyers. The project provides advisory services to help farmers with business management and access to finance.

Objectives 2017-2019


  • 2,100 coffee farmers and 3,150 cocoa farmers will have completed technical training.
  • 18 farmer cooperatives trained in business management.


  • 60% of trained farmers will have increased their incomes significantly, thereby improving quality of life for their families.
  • Productivity will have improved tangibly.
  • Beneficiary farmer cooperatives will enjoy long-term and lucrative sales contracts.
  • Availability of and access to specialised financial services will have improved.

Project activities

  1. Training in planting methods, improved irrigation, application of crop protection, fertilizers, seed, and environmentally-friendly production methods
  2. Trainings in cocoa and coffee processing as well as in marketing and customer relations
  3. Training farmer collectives in marketing and building business relations. Simultaneously, these groups will be strengthened in their management capacities including bookkeeping, administration, and controlling.
  4. Collaboration with credit cooperatives so that they provide financial services that respond to the needs of smallholder farmers


Results since 2017

Coffee and cocoa

  • 7,170 coffee and 3,239 cocoa producers benefited from project activities.
  • 52% increase in coffee production productivity.
  • 2,724 producers (coffee and cocoa) had access to post-harvest activities.
  • 10 associations with 648 producers have renewed their contracts with clients.
  • 142 leaders have been trained in organizational management. This directly benefited 2,166 members of their organizations.
  • 915 producers had access to credit for coffee maintenance

Project partner

  • Esperanza
  • Nestlé

Project countries

  • Ecuador

Project duration

2017 - 2020


  • SDC
  • ESPERANZA kooperative Hilfe gegen Armut

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org