FADLI: LUCKILY TO BE A COCOA FARMER
Numbers of Indonesian youth who choose to be farmers are not pleasing. Indonesian Farmers Association (IFA) noted, Indonesia has got crisis in numbers of farmers, especially the younger cocoa farmers. As they explained at IFA press conference by the end of last year, the farmers availability at agriculture spots are dominated by those who are more than 45 years old. This crisis of younger farmers happens in Cianjur, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi. It also happens in Indonesia cocoa sector.
At the crisis, there is no doubt for those who choose to be younger cocoa farmers deserve to be high appreciated. One of them is Fadli, an 18 years old who chooses to be a cocoa farmer.
This first son of 5 siblings takes care a half ha of cocoa farm as his own. A small number of farm if we compare to other succeed farmers, but big enough for a young boy who is building his dreams. This farm is a family legacy that is planted with about 300 cocoa crops. Every day, the son of Jamal and Darmina looks after his own cocoa crops.
Firstly, the cocoa farm was a shared responsibility in the family where they had about 3 ha of cocoa farms. Ali (he is usually called) just helped his parents in looking after their farms, till at the point he decided to take care by himself the farm that was entrusted to him. The decision was taken a year ago, and since that time, he officially becomes an Indonesia cocoa farmer, a job that he is so proud of. “Lucky to be a cocoa farmer,” he admits.
In a year, his cocoa farm has been producing about 100 kg cocoa beans where its result could be used to buy things that he dreams of. “I always want to be independent, can buy myself hand phone. Not asking from my parents, Now I’m saving money for buying a motorbike,” he explained.
Except the economical stuff that he has got, he also likes the working hours that he can manage by himself. It does not mean that because it is his farm, so he might be lazy and having lots of free time, other than precisely high responsibility to himself so he works hard. Every day, except on Mondays and if he has a family gathering, he will be easily met at his farm rather than other places.
Ali wants to have bigger farm and of course with good quality production result. Therefore, he never stops to look for how to cultivate cocoa well. He, who is joining RA certification and PT. Mars Symbioscience development program, hopes to get more knowledge from training for cocoa farmers. Moreover, he expects succeed stories from other succeed farmers that can be shared and learnt, so that can be roles in cultivating cocoa in his farm.
He also hopes the younger generation can join to be Indonesia younger cocoa farmers “The more farmers are better, even it is difficult to invite others. But masannang mobali petani (happy to be a farmer). Hopefully many more is like myself,” he states. Cokelat hopes more Ali(s) in the future.