Cocoa Intensification in Indonesia - IPNI Cocoa Care Program


22 May 2017

2016 Annual Interpretive Summary

An ongoing decline in quality and productivity of cocoa in Indonesia since the early 2000’s has undermined cacao farm profitability. While global markets were strong during the same period, it still presented a substantial risk to the survival of the industry in Indonesia. The project was initiated in 2013 to identify and help cacao-farming families with the necessary land and family resources to become a sustainable cacao family business. Project information was used to estimate and project fertilizer market demand for Sulawesi and guide market development.

The cacao farmers were 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 were rehabilitated or replaced with the best available plants. Soil and leaf sampling were collected within the farms to establish nutritional and other soil needs. The data were 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 deployed the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Concept of right source, right rate, right time, and right place to guide the fertilizer applications.

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 completed trials in 2016. 4R-based 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. A presentation was given at the Fertilizer Meeting of the Sustainable Cocoa Partnership in July in 2016 in Jakarta and a publication is underway. Importantly, this project demonstrates to farmers the benefits of good agricultural practices, including fertilization, and thereby provide motivation to growers for management change.