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Panela from the rural parishes of Quito reached more than 1 million sales in the European market in recent years. The product has high quality certifications that allow farmers in the Quito parish to export directly to France, Italy, Germany, Spain and other countries.

Only in Pacto, the cultivation of sugar cane employs more than 1,400 people. Rural families carry a tradition of hundreds of years and obtain benefits from the exquisite product, which is used to make sweets, sugar, brandy and more.

Also, according to Edmundo Jiménez, president of the parish of Gualea, the products of his community reach the international market; In addition to sugar cane products, they offer milk, aloe vera and handicrafts. It is for this reason that from the entrance to the parish a smell of boiled cane can be felt, for the preparation of juice, brandy and powdered brown sugar.

José Tufiño, leader of the El Paraíso neighborhood, clarified that thanks to the richness of the land and its crystal clear rivers, 13 populations directly benefit from panela and agriculture.

"Here in El Paraíso, the panela considered the best in the world is produced, it has already traveled through multiple international markets and provides work for more than 400 families," declared the leader.

Rubén Tufiño, who directs the El Paraíso Panela Production Cooperative (Copropap), tells that the families of the parishes organized themselves into micro-enterprises and that in this way they produce 1,200 sacks a month. The production 75% reaches the international market.

The panela activity that achieves self-sustainability and circular waste management


La panela de las parroquias rurales de Quito alcanzó más de 1 millón de ventas en el mercado europeo durante los últimos años.


The GAD of Pacto indicates that the crop rarely exceeds 2 hectares in each of the farms where it is planted. The activity is considered eco-sustainable, because the cane fiber is not discarded; but it is used to heat the ovens, avoiding cutting down trees for firewood.

However, this growing economy and Pacto's primary source of income is endangered by legal and illegal mining. The government authorized 12 mining concessions to Canadian, Chinese and Chilean companies in the area.

"The sugarcane growers who export the product, with these mining activities that are being developed, run the risk of losing certification," says Wilson Morales, a sugarcane farmer.