Cocoa also processed in Corona times

Cocoa also processed in corona times

The global corona pandemic also passed the aid association "frederic-hilfe fur peru" not without a trace. Like arno wielgoss, the "motor of the association, explained in the current annual report, many of the projects could unfortunately not be implemented. The year had started quite normally. In february, arno wielgoss traveled to peru puro together with frauke fischer, a basic colleague from peru puro, to peru, where a lot of club work had to be done.

One of the main tasks for this year was the commissioning of the small cocoa processing plant that the association had purchased with the help of the schmitz foundation. A small annex was needed next to the cooperative house for this purpose. Several members of the women's groups that were to operate the plant were trained in work and food safety courses. By the end of her stay. The women were now able to expertly and professionally roast and finely grind the cooperative's organic cocoa to produce pure cocoa liquor. Arno wielgoss emphasized: "this is an important and coveted staple food in the urubamba valley. Each child drinks a strong cocoa made from cocoa mass before going to school. The adults also used it to help them with their hard field work. Previously, cocoa mass had to be produced by hand by each family using the simplest of methods."

Cocoa surpluses sold

A few days after arno wielgoss' return to germany, the corona virus hit the country of peru with full force and a months-long lockdown followed. Peru is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic in the world. Food supplies collapsed in some of the cities. Travel and transport of goods to and from the provinces were forbidden. The cocoa processing plant remained in operation, and a great deal of cocoa mass was produced under the strictest hygiene conditions. This not only covered the farmers' own needs, but also allowed them to sell the surpluses. This helped to alleviate the financial hardship of the families.

In addition, it was now clear how important it is to train smallholders in organic farming methods. At the event organized by the "frederic-hilfe" association for 20 years, the demand for organic farming has been about more than just avoiding the use of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers. "Our farmers" according to arno wielgoss "they have learned to secure self-sufficiency in addition to coffee and cocoa cultivation with diverse agroforestry systems, small livestock breeding and vegetable gardens, and then also to think about the local and regional market.

Sister is stuck

Sister ester, who was in charge of the women's groups, was on home leave in the philippines at the beginning of the pandemic and has been stuck there ever since. Fortunately, we were able to recruit a young office worker who was able to provide a great deal of assistance. Thanks to their professional experience, all the hurdles of organic certification have been overcome.

Satellite antennas for schools

After schools were closed in peru, the ministry of education now publishes worksheets and homework on a weekly basis. Problem was the lack of access to the internet. The association helped the parents of two schools to buy satellite antennas for the internet. Now learning materials can be downloaded.

A major step for the future work of the local association was the purchase of two plots of land. It was made possible by a private donation. This will help the farmers' association continue to grow in the future.

Support continued to be provided by the federal ministry for development and cooperation with a corona aid fund. Cooperation with german state organizations would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But now it's working thanks to the help of the organic farming association.

At the end of his report arno wielgoss listed a number of future projects. The "showcase project for organic farming should be continued, as should aid for women's groups and schools. The association makes sure that every cent is used sensibly and sustainably. Much has been achieved, but people are still dependent on the support of the association "frederic-hilfe" instructed.

Wielgoss explained that due to the corona pandemic, it would not be possible to hold a general meeting with a presentation of pictures this year.

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