Multi-Stakeholder Efforts in Establishing a Sustainable District

Multi-Stakeholder Efforts in Establishing a Sustainable District

Jakarta, May 04, 2023–CSP with the Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari (LTKL), and the Partnership for Indonesia Sustainable Agriculture (PISAgro) hold a meeting to discuss directions and effort to improve the welfare of smallholder cocoa farmers in Sigi District, Central Sulawesi. Effort to increase cocoa production and productivity are also accompanied by initiatives to preserve forests and the surrounding environment.

This meeting is the manifestation of a series of agreements that have been made by these parties some time ago. The agreement also involves the role of the local government of Sigi District and several other parties to harmonize the efforts to improve the welfare of these smallholder cocoa farmers.

"This initiative must be pushed together by various related parties so that cocoa farmers in Sigi District are able to achieve a better standard of living," said Ristika Putri Istanti, Program Manager of LTKL.

From the results of this meeting, it is revealed that one of the problems faced by smallholder cocoa farmers in cocoa production centers in Indonesia is cocoa plants that are not optimally productive. The reasons varied, of course, but pest attacks, fertilization, and aged trees that must be rehabilitated are the main reasons. And it is also disclosed that to fertilize and replant crops, farmers need financial support. Therefore, access to financing, which has so far been limited, must be improved.

The effort to enable smallholder cocoa farmers to have proper access to financial support is the microcredit (Kredit Usaha Rakyat/KUR) scheme that has been implemented by the government. However, its application must be adjusted for the cocoa sector. Non-cash schemes can be an option for farmers. This financing program for farmers can only be used to buy agricultural needs such as fertilizers, planting materials, pesticides, and other production facilities.

One of the descriptions of the agreement between the parties also discuss the development of a rootstock garden and planting material nursery for the Central Sulawesi region. The existence of a rootstock garden close to the cocoa production center area will provide access for smallholder cocoa farmers to certified rootstock seeds and planting material easily and at an affordable price.

Rama Manusama, representative of Katalys, reveals that the development of a business model for sustainable cocoa through a closed-loop system approach could be an option to support the initiation of nursery development, especially in Sigi District.

These parties hope that the initiative discussed and agreed upon will give hope to the smallholder cocoa farmers in Sigi District in a realizing to increase welfare by cultivating cocoa, and as a realizing to preserve the forest. (CSP/AV)