Learning from the Best: Study Tour to Visit Cocoa Farmers in Sulawesi

16. May 2023|In Indonesia, Indonesia, News, News
Kakaobauern in Sulawesi

Since 2021, we are working with farmers in the districts Barito Timur and Gunung Mas on cocoa cultivation. The project is also supported by local government by integrating agricultural extension officers with our work. These officers helped us to facilitate the trainings and provided support to cocoa farmers. However, since cocoa cultivation in Borneo is a quite recent development, farmers and agricultural extension officers in many cases still lack knowledge and experience. Therefore, we seek out the best possible training and knowledge and engage with experts from other parts of Indonesia.

Learning from Sulawesi Island about the cocoa industry

So our Cocoa team, together with cocoa farmers from Barito Timur district, had a chance to visit the island of Sulawesi, the most advanced cocoa cultivation region in Indonesia, to learn more about the cocoa industry. The island is renowned for producing high quality cocoa beans, which are in high demand by chocolate makers from around the world. The region is also known for its effort in creating sustainable cocoa farming practices, which includes environmental friendly programs and community development.

Kakaubauern in Sulawesi
A multisensorial learning experience about cocoa directly on the farmer’s field

Through learning first hand about the successes in Sulawesi, farmers, extension officers, and our cocoa team had the opportunity to gain new insights and develop their knowledge and skills further. This will enable them to explore and implement innovative approaches across the whole cultivation process. By studying the practices and techniques used in Sulawesi, they can adapt and incorporate new ideas into their own operations, ranging from cultivation techniques to farmer organization and business practice and latest technological advancements in the industry.

Workshop mit Kakaoexperten
Workshop with the cocoa experts from Sultan Hasanuddin University

“Thank you to FVW for giving us the opportunity as cocoa farmers to learn from experts in Sulawesi,” said Prianto, a farmer from Gandrung Village. He highlighted the benefits of this activity for the development of the cocoa cultivation in Barito Timur and emphasized the value of the learning experience.s. As expected, through this hands-on approach, the farmers were able to gain a deeper understanding of the cultivation process and identify areas where they could improve their own cocoa crops. Prianto recognized the significance of this opportunity for the sustainable economic growth of his community. Therefore, he plans to share his knowledge with fellow farmers in Gandrung Village to help them diversify their income sources.

A similar impression was given by Karnando, an extension officer from the Agricultural Office of Barito Timur: “The study tour to Sulawesi was a new experience for me, an interesting, useful and well-organized activity. For future programs, we hope that we will always work well together.” Moving forward, he emphasized the need for mutual synergy among all parties involved to ensure that the cocoa farming program in Barito Timur will grow sustainably. He acknowledged that this study tour was an eye-opener, highlighting the need to share knowledge and expertise in order to improve the practices in the region.