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FUZZY ECONOMIC REVIEW

ISSN (print) 1136-0593 · ISSN (online) 2445-4192

SELECTION OF COCOA POST-HARVEST TECHNOLOGY USING FUZZY LOGIC

Lenin Vera-Montenegroa. Carrera de Ingeniería Agrícola, Escuela Superior Politécnica Agropecuaria de Manabí

Amparo Baviera-Puig. Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universitat Politècnica de València

Jose-Maria Garcia-Alvarez-Coque. Department of Economics and Social Sciences. Universitat Politècnica de València

Abstract

Ecuador supplies 70% of the world’s fine aroma cocoa (Theobroma cacao), which is later used in the manufacture of high quality chocolates. The postharvest is an essential process for producers seeking a share of this market. The aim of this paper is to define a model for selecting a postharvest technology, using fuzzy logic and the following criteria: quality, processing costs, and technology adoption capability for small producers. The method is not data demanding, and supplies results that qualify those obtained in classical evaluations that only consider the criterion of quality. The most highly valued technology yields good quality cocoa, has low processing costs, and is easy to adopt. Two technologies meet these requirements: (i) heap fermentation and drying with concrete floors; and (ii) fermentation in bags and drying with concrete floors. These technologies are deemed “excellent”. Both methods employ the same type of drying, but differ in their type of fermentation. Heap fermentation and drying with racks receives the next highest rating (“very good”). We conclude that fuzzy logic offers a better approximation to the reality of small-scale cocoa production, thanks to its use of multiple criteria to select postharvest technologies.

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