2016 in INDONESIA: Cocoa Intensification - IPNI Cocoa Care Program

Project code: IDN-27

Since the early 2000’s there has been an ongoing decline in quality and productivity in cocoa in Indonesia, which has undermined cacao farm profitability and presents a substantial risk to the survival of the industry in Indonesia, while at the same time global markets are strong. The project will identify cacao-farming families with the necessary land and family resources to become a sustainable cacao family business. Project information is used to estimate and project fertilizer market demand for Sulawesi and guide market development.

The project has commenced in 2013 and will run until 2019.

Treatment overview:
These cacao farmers will be trained both “in class” and “in field” how to implement good agricultural practices on their farms for maximum productivity. Where necessary, dead or non-productive cacao trees will be rehabilitated or replaced with the best available planting materials. This program demonstrates the benefits of good agricultural practices and 4R fertilization. Soil and leaf sampling will be undertaken within the farms to establish nutritional and other soil needs. This data will be analyzed and ideal soil management practices and fertilizer regimes developed (including potash fertilizers) to achieve the optimum, soil condition and nutritional levels for cacao farming. The program will explore and deploy the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Concept, of right rate, right place, right source and right time, to guide the fertilizer applications. Test plots will be established within each farm to monitor the impact of these interventions.

IPNI and PT Community Solutions International, Cocoa Care program, will jointly manage the project. The Cocoa Care team will conduct Farmer identification, procurement, field trials implementation and monitoring while IPNI will provide guidance on scientific methods, statistical analysis of results and managerial oversight.

Results to date:
The project has been extended until 2019 with additional resources from Indonesian partner Lautan Luas TBK. The first 22 farms completed trials in 2015. Three farmer groups with a total of 52 farms were completed in 2016. Fertilization has generated significant yield and income increases for farmers, and further results will be disseminated in 2017. In 2014, 10 new farms were established for omission plot trials. In 2015 and 2016, 15 and 12 new omission plot farms had been added, respectively, under the Lautan Luas engagement, and more than 75 farms are currently part of the program. Presentation was given at the Fertilizer Meeting of the Sustainable Cocoa Partnership in July in 2016 in Jakarta. A publication is underway.

Importantly, the project will demonstrate to farmers the benefits of good agricultural practices, including fertilization, and thereby provide motivation to growers for management change.

Additional Resources

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