Cocoa Intensification in Indonesia - IPNI Cocoa Care Program


14 May 2018

2017 Annual Interpretive Summary

There has been an ongoing decline in quality and productivity of cocoa in Indonesia since the early 2000's. This decline, while the global cocoa markets are strong, has undermined farm profitability and presents a substantial risk to the survival of the industry in Indonesia. This project, initiated in 2013 and scheduled to run until 2019, will identify and support cacao-farming families with the necessary land and family resources to become sustainable family businesses by deploying good agricultural practices, and fertilizer application based on the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Principles. Project information will also be 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 planting materials. Soil and leaf sampling were undertaken within the farms to establish nutritional and other soil needs. These data were analyzed and ideal soil management practices and fertilizer regimes were developed (including potash fertilizers) to achieve the optimum soil condition and nutritional levels for cacao farming. Test plots were established within each farm to monitor the impact of these interventions.

IPNI and PT Community Solutions International Cocoa Care program jointly managed the project. The Cocoa Care team conducted farmer identification, procurement, field trials implementation and monitoring while IPNI provided guidance on scientific methods, statistical analysis of results and managerial oversight.

Dry bean yield, bean size, and economics of production from 73 participating farms from July 2013 to September 2016 have been analyzed, summarized, and synthesized into two journal articles and submitted for publication. A cocoa seedling nursery trial was established in August 2017 to evaluate the effect of different levels of fertilization on the growth of the seedling. Seedlings from this nursery will be used for the model farm to be established in April 2018. A second nursery will be set up in early 2018 to fine-tune fertilizer recommendations for seedlings. Importantly, this project will demonstrate to farmers the benefits of good agricultural practices, including fertilization, and thereby provide motivation to growers for management change.