The cocoa farming sector in Colombia has always been small compared to other sectors, such as coffee. Although the needs of this market have been met mainly by the chocolate industry, this agricultural practice has encountered countless obstacles such as low production in the harvest. Since its inception, Luker Chocolate has strongly believed that agricultural education helps to improve the country’s cocoa culture and to position Colombian cocoa as a premium product because of its unique profile.
For this reason, in 1962, Luker Chocolate made the decision to create Granja Luker, the first center for technological research, scientific exploration, innovation and agricultural education in cocoa in Colombia and the world. The center has two main objectives:
- Explore the best varieties of cocoa and the best agricultural practices.
- Train cocoa farmers throughout the country.
This center became the vehicle through which we could build a close relationship with cocoa farmers’ associations, allowing us to support them in their efforts to improve their quality of life and increase the production of a cocoa ideal for trade.
Granja Luker also offers plant material to small farmers by providing a 20% subsidy on the purchase for new cocoa projects or for replanting, giving farmers the opportunity to update their crops with high quality and high productivity Fino de Aroma varieties. This work is accompanied by a technical team composed of eleven agricultural engineers from Luker Chocolate who travel throughout the different cocoa farming regions of Colombia in order to provide technical assistance to the farmers.