Rich cacao and biodiversity recovery on Peru’s desert coastline
Born from the dry, desert valleys in Piura, Northern Peru, the ultra-rare Piura Porcelana white cacao was nearly extinct when our Bean Team recovered it in 2007. The region had suffered from deforestation which in turn worsened the drought. During the rainy season the rivers would overflow, then run dry again to increase the malnourishment among Piura villagers.
Since then, the Piura cacao has been carefully selected and hundred thousands of cacao, shade and timber trees have been planted. Local families have shifted from rice cultivation to diverse cacao-agroforestry and tripled their incomes. Over the years, the fruity Piura Blanco has become one of the top-awarded cacaos worldwide.
When walking through the cacao groves of Piura, hundreds of butterflies take to their wings, drinking from the streams that need the forests as much as the forests (and the people, and the butterflies) need them.