Improving Cocoa Productivity through Replanting, Farmer Facilitation, and Access to Agri Input

Improving Cocoa Productivity through Replanting, Farmer Facilitation, and Access to Agri Input

Jakarta, May 06, 2021—The improvement of smallholder cocoa farmer welfare by increasing cocoa productivity is the main duty of all cocoa stakeholders. Similarly, the active participation of private sectors is highly needed to establish this objective. The collaboration among government and private sector is the integrated efforts that can be implemented.

During the General Assembly Meeting of Cocoa Sustainability Partnership in last April 27, Heru Tri Widarto as the Director of Perennial Crops and Beverages, General Director of Estate Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, delivered the message that the role of private sector in supporting the national government programs is highly welcomed. "In 2021 fiscal year, the government will replant approximately 2.925 hectares cocoa plantation in 19 districts of national cocoa development centers. The needs of seedlings are in huge number. The government and CSP can work together in how to expand these areas and numbers to other areas with greater beneficiaries, and how to fulfill the demand of seedlings," the Director of Perennial Crops and Beverages explained.

In responding this statement, on Thursday, May 06, 2021, Jeffrey Haribowo, Corporate Affairs Director of Mars Incorporated, and Wahyu Wibowo, Executive Director of CSP, were welcomed by the Director of Perennial Crops and Beverages, Heru Tri Widarto, with the accompany of Endy Pranoto. This meeting was conducted to follow up the directions of Director General of Estate Crops, Kasdi Subagyono, to plan collective actions in seeking initiatives in improving national cocoa production.

In this meeting, Wahyu Wibowo mentioned that CSP with BALITTRI had being conducted compatibility and research studies on 5 (five) cocoa clones that would be included as certified rootstocks resources. "In total, there are approximately 544 nursery operators under CSP members supervision with a potential of 25.2 million seedlings production annually. And in order to fulfill the needs of qualified and certified seedlings, this potentiality can be developed for communal needs through subsidized or cost sharing schemes," the Executive Director of CSP said.

The Ministry of Agriculture welcomed this initiative and would see the possibility of implementation by involving these nursery operators as vendors for government programs. The member of CSP also could provide coaching and facilitation after the seedling distributed to the farmers.

"CSP members, who are mainly cocoa tradings and processors, should develop seed garden to support the seedling needs of cocoa farmers. And this initiative is the form of participation that can be performed by private sector in supporting the implementation of seedling logistic program," Heru Tri Widarto, the Director of Perennial Crops and Beverages said.

The Directorate of Perennial Crops and Beverages also expressed its willing to visit some cocoa research and development facilities which were run by CSP members. During the visit, there would be meeting and in-depth discussion among stakeholders regarding the procurement, technical guidance, and implementation processes in the field to support the efforts in fulfilling the needs of seedling for cocoa farmers. (CSP/AH)