Cocoa Intensification in Indonesia - IPNI Cocoa Care Program


12 Mar 2014

2013 Annual Interpretive Summary

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. This project that commenced in 2013 will identify cacao-farming families with the necessary land and family resources to become a sustainable cacao business family over the longer term. Project information can be used to estimate and project fertilizer market demand for Sulawesi, and thereby guide further market development programs. These cacao farmers will be trained both “in class” and “in field” on 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. The project will be managed jointly by IPNI, Malaysia, and PT Community Solutions International, Cocoa Care program.

For this program, where we will focus on demonstrating the benefits of sustainable soil management and fertilizing practices, we will select farms which require the least amount of tree rehabilitation, but where evident we will support small scale remedial action outside the test plot areas to improve longer term farm productivity. 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 - right source, right rate, right time, and right place - to guide the fertilizer applications. Test plots will be established within each farm to monitor the impact of these interventions. 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. The project will enable a quantification of the contribution of fertilizers to yield gap reduction, cocoa quality improvement, and income generation for farmers, and soil quality improvement. More importantly, the project will demonstrate to farmers the benefits of good agricultural practices, including fertilization, and thereby provide motivation to growers for management change.