Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Luncheon (Noon – 2:00pm)

World Bank Headquarters, Room I-8300, I Building 1750 19 & I Street NW, Washington DC

Chair: Cyprian FISIY, Director, Social Development (SDV) and Laureant MSELLATI, Sector Manager, Latin America Agriculture and Rural Development (LCSAR)

Mary Lisbeth GONZALEZ, TTL for the JSDF- Nicaragua: Alternative Indigenous and Afrodescendants and Agroforestry (COCOA-RAAN) – will briefly present the Project.

Main Speakers: 

Mark CHRISTIAN is the founder of the C-spot® – the preeminent source for premium-chocolate ratings, reviews, and education. The C-spot® is widely recognized as the most comprehensive resource of its kind and includes the only systematic taxonomy of CACAO varietals as they relate to commercial production & availability of chocolates which contain them. It attracts the attention of both the consumer market and the professional trade that have made it the #1 paid-subscriber site in the world for chocolate. He has authored and published numerous articles and reviews and investigated the effects of certifying regimes such as Fair-Trade and organic, as well as efforts by the candy industry to promote additional schemes to alter the supply chain. This has led him to collaborate with industry leaders to help devise truly green and self-sustaining mechanisms.

Falguni GUHARAY’S academic background encompasses agronomy, entomology, neurobiology, biophysics, rural development and communication. His experience includes national and regional research and development projects related to integrated pest management and agroforestry, organic farming, biological control of vectors of malaria and leptospirosis, local innovation and communication development. He currently is the coordinator for Sembramos Informacion Cosechamos Conocimiento (SIMAS) – We cultivate information to harvest knowledge – a Nicaraguan NGO working in Mesoamerica to develop innovative online monitoring and learning systems for managing quantitative and qualitative information that enables and enhances the capacity of organizations to monitor impacts of their projects.

Additionally, BENEFICIARIES from the Cooperative will share and discuss with the audience how COCOA-RAAN engaged them to promote organic cocoa-based agroforestry and production of chocolate. They will host a chocolate-tasting for the audience.


Janmejay SINGH, Senior Social Development Specialist; lead coordinator of the Community Driven Development (CDD) group. Mr. Singh has led and participated in several World Bank initiatives promoting social accountability on a broad range of activities. These involve individuals, communities, media and civil society organizations to improve local participation, governance, and gains in development through empowerment that results in better delivery of services. He has authored and applied research to demonstrate that citizen-driven accountability measures complement and reinforce conventional mechanisms of accountability such as political checks and balances, accounting and auditing systems, administrative rules and legal procedures.

ABSTRACT. This pilot project has been successfully leading an initiative on cocoa-based agroforestry at the organization and household-level in response to the deteriorating socio-economic situation in one of the poorest areas of Nicaragua and of the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, the region experiences increased deforestation and its ensuing degradation to the wider environment, which in turn compounds problems associated with people’s livelihoods and their generalized wellbeing. Working with stakeholders on mixed agroforestry systems and inter-cropping has provided important insights in planning and planting strategies:

  • soil fertility improvement via low-cost technology packages (biomass / organic fertilizer);
  • variegated crop production for both environmentally sound bio-diverse habitats and to accrue year-round benefits that offset economic risk due to seasonal fluctuations;
  • investment in human capital (training) that empowers locals while assisting them to improve their livelihoods;
  • building women-led enterprises with the production of chocolate & the establishment of factories to manufacture it;
  • scaling the capacity of presiding agencies and beneficiaries in the design and implementation of participatory monitoring and evaluation – using quantitative and qualitative criteria (available online) with the objective to:
    • learn and make critical choices from among alternative production strategies;
    • nurture more effective planners and decision-makers; this is a management tool useful for the Bank, implementing agencies, and the growers;
    • assess the impact of the Project over time;
    • obtain timely and accurate datasets to improve Project planning and implementation.

The project leads-on to networking opportunities in premium market channels such as Fair-trade and organic which further promote knowledge and technology transfers.



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