CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Chocolate, a sweet success in Guatemala

In Guatemala, small-holder farmers are replanting cocoa as the country works towards establishing more sustainable agricultural practices.
UNDP Guatemala/Caroline Trutmann
In Guatemala, small-holder farmers are replanting cocoa as the country works towards establishing more sustainable agricultural practices.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Chocolate, a sweet success in Guatemala

Climate and Environment

The reintroduction of smallholder cocoa production in Guatemala is addressing both economic and environmental problems brought on by climate change, thanks to support provided by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). 

Cocoa is the main ingredient in chocolate, a high value product which more farmers in Central America are producing.
UNDP Guatemala/Caroline Trutmann

The cultivation of the plant, which is indigenous to Central America, has been replaced in recent years by cash crops such as sugarcane and rubber, as well as widespread cattle rangeland.

The move to a more industrial agriculture has had serious consequences for natural ecosystems in Guatemala, but now smallholder farmers are being encouraged by the UN to replant cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, as a way to stabilize the land and provide a good income.

Read more about the cocoa farmers of Guatemala.