In Ecuador, the Hand-in-Hand Initiative supports investments in avocado and cocoa production. The areas identified as priorities for intervention are the provinces of Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha and Tungurahua for avocado products, and Esmeraldas, Manabí, Sto. Domingo, Los Ríos and Pichincha for cocoa.

The Government aims to increase the current avocado production area from 1,500 to 5,000 hectares by 2025, which would increase yields from 8 to 15 t/ha. A total investment of US$147 million is being sought for this.

Regarding cocoa, the total investment sought is US$133.6 million. The aim is to increase yields from 0.56 to 1.5 t/ha over a four-year period (by 2026). The interventions also aim to improve the quality of cocoa and increase prices paid to producers.


Hass Avocado

This intervention consists of three elements:

  • Technological innovation to establish certified avocado plant nurseries and build capacity of nursery workers in grafting techniques and production of certified plans. This should be implemented on 5,000 hectares of land, leading to 2,145,000 certified plants (429 plants/ha). Fifty-four nurseries would be built, each nursery growing 40,000 plants. This would benefit 2,500 producers, including 500 women, and 215 nursery workers.
  • Agricultural promotion to boost hass avocado production and capacity building. This intervention establishes plantations and supports the adoption of irrigation systems and good agricultural practices. It will be implemented on the same 5,000 hectares of land mentioned above, and benefit the same 2,500 producers. It would also create 1,667 jobs (1 worker per every 3 hectares), and 50 technicians would be trained in avocado cultivation. 
  • Infrastructure development for collecting and packaging avocado and building a national traceability system. This intervention aims to collect and package 61,500 metric tons of avocado in four plants for domestic consumption, export and processing. It would create 320 jobs (80 workers per plant).


    There are three elements to this intervention:

    • Agricultural trust to increase cocoa yields. This intervention entails establishing and administering a permanent and revolving fund to acquire technological packages and technical assistance. It would increase cocoa production in 60,000 hectares of land, benefiting 20,000 producers, 6,000 of whom are women. Five private financial institutions are expected to participate in this effort. 
    • Agricultural promotion to increase cocoa yields. This intervention creates a technology-transfer and capacity-development programme. It also promotes good practices in cocoa production and connects producers to companies. This effort will increase cocoa production on 60,000 hectares of land. The same 20,000 producers mentioned above would benefit from this, as they receive nutrition support and technical assistance. It would create 15,000 jobs.
    • Improvement of cocoa commercialization. This intervention develops technical assistance programmes to boost marketing for cocoa and train Agrocalidad inspectors. It also implements a national traceability system. This would benefit 14 collection centers with good marketing practices and a traceability system.

    Minister Bernardo Manzano discusses the HIH Initiative in Ecuador

    For more information, please get in touch with the Hand-in-Hand team.