In October 2019, the pilot farms involved in the EU-funded Sustainable Cocoa Development project (SCDP) in East Java had their first harvest. The quality and the quantity of production was better than anticipated, with demonstration plots producing around 1.2 tons of fermented cocoa beans per hectare. These results attracted the interest of local chocolate factories in Mojokerto and Trenggalek districts, which purchased the entire production at a price above the market rate.
This was a significant success for the project which empowers small cocoa farmers and their associations to improve sustainable cocoa farming skills, and increases value in local production chains. The project started in late 2016 when a new faster-cropping variety of cocoa was planted in demonstration plots across five districts.
The project also facilitates partnerships with local cocoa processing industries to improve farmers’ access to markets and encourage farmers to produce quality cocoa that meets the industry’s requirements. It also has had significant success in engaging with and building the capacity of local government, such as in Blitar district, where fertiliser processing units have been developed with the assistance of young farmers.
SCDP ACHIEVEMENTS INCLUDE
Involvement of 50 farmers’ groups with around 1,000 members, 3 cocoa associations,
the provincial government, and agriculture offices of 5 district governments.
Training benefits on post-harvesting activities and cocoa processing for around 500 farmers and women.
Establishment of a small enterprise producing chocolate-based cakes and snacks run by women’s groups in Trenggalek and Bondowoso districts