Cocoa Intensification in Indonesia - IPNI Cocoa Care Program


24 Mar 2015

2014 Annual Interpretive Summary

The project has commenced in 2013 and was initially designed to run until the end of 2014. 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 local industry, 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.

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, MALAYSIA 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.

The project has been extended until 2019 with additional resources from Uralkali Trading (UKT) and UKT’s Indonesian business partner Lautan Luas. The project counts now 50 farms under the IPNI program, and 33 UKT farms, of which 10 are farms with omission plot trials. In 2015, 15 new omission plot farms will be added under the UKT and Lautan Luas programs. Data analyses is ongoing, and initial results show a significant yield increase in the fertilized over the non-fertilized treatments.

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