22 Jun 2016

IPNI - Cocoa Care Collaboration Helping Farmers in Indonesia Revitalize Cocoa Production

Jun 22, 2016. Penang, Malaysia – The International Plant Nutrition Institute - Southeast Asia Program (IPNI SEAP) and PT Community Solutions International’s Cocoa Care Program, a scalable sustainability program, are jointly implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship research and development to revitalize cocoa production in Indonesia.

A 2014 survey revealed the dominant role of cocoa in the livelihoods of farming families in Sulawesi, which produces most of Indonesia’s cocoa. Yet pests, diseases and poor farm management have reduced cocoa production significantly, from approximately 700,000 tonnes per annum (1990s) to 420,000 tonnes (2013). The lack of farming knowledge and inputs such as fertilizers further threaten the industry. Despite the increasing global demand for cocoa, smallholders in Sulawesi struggle to keep their farms profitable.

Guided by IPNI’s scientific approach to sustainable intensification and Cocoa Care’s community-focused engagement, the pilot phase, involving about 60 smallholder farmers, is showing excellent progress as farmers are able to see the benefits of applying good agricultural practices with appropriate nutrient management.

The IPNI SEAP – Cocoa Care partnership, which now includes IPNI member company Uralkali Trading SIA (Russia) and their business partner, PT Lautan Luas Tbk (Indonesia), implements farmer inclusive research on these farms to fill critical knowledge gaps in cocoa nutrition. Trials over the last two years have demonstrated significant yield increases.

A new phase of trials has commenced to identify the critical role of nutrients. This will allow farmers and Cocoa Care to address specific nutrient deficiencies. The program is also developing much-needed infrastructure, helping to establish farmer-owned agri-input kiosks that would serve the farming community better.

To learn more about the unique cocoa partnership between farmers, researchers and industry, watch this short informative video clip: https://youtu.be/hYtaqistj0s

About IPNI
The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) is a not-for-profit, science-based organization dedicated to the responsible management of plant nutrition for the benefit of people. Through cooperation and partnerships with respected institutions around the world, IPNI adds its strength to agronomic research, education, demonstrations, training, and other endeavors. Best management practices for nutrient stewardship encourage the concept of 4Rs - applying the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. To learn more about IPNI, please visit: www.ipni.net

IPNI Contact: Dr. Thomas Oberthür, IPNI Director of Southeast Asia Program. Email: toberthur@ipni.net

SEAP Cocoa Care Project, part 1

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