For The Future Of Cocoa 
 

Tenri's On-Farm Compost

Posted on May 13, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

Back in January 2014 during a field trip with our friends at IPNI we were delighted to see that farmer Tenri had decided to give composting a go having learnt a little bit about it at training. In an effort to improve his soil condition Tenri has established a basic compost station using logs and waste from around the farm. 

Cocoa Carer Noel and Thomas from IPNI both spent time with Tenri giving him some advise on how to improve his compost. Shortly after, we presented Tenri with a tarpaulin and some micro- organisms mix to aid the composting process and increase soil micro-biodiversity, a cover for the compost and some expert advise on how best to prepare his compost in the field. Just to give Tenri a little helping hand. 

Upon a routine visit to Tenri's farm last week it was so fantastic to see Tenri actually applying these micro-organisms and tending to his compost! Very cool photo.  

 

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New Cocoa Care Team Member

Posted on April 04, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

Cocoa Care welcomes Askar who has joined the Cocoa Care team specifically to monitor the impact of the support programs being provided by IPNI and their partners. Monitoring impacts will clearly demonstrate to the farmers participating in these programs and other farmers in the area. 

Askar, the youngest of 4 children of a cocoa farming family located in Soppeng, has recently graduated from the Agricultural College in Pangkep where he studied Agriculture including Cocoa. 

During his studies and then post graduation, Askar worked with the Mars Incorporated cocoa sustainability group where he was able to expand his understanding of cocoa technology and farmer education. 

In addition to his role as program impact monitor, Askar will also support the Cocoa Care "In Farm Composting Station" program. 

 

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    Impact Data Now Online

    Posted on April 02, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

    Since June 2013, we have been collecting data every 2 weeks which is then analyzed using the Grameen Foundation's TaroWoks system to ensure Cocoa Care programs deliver real sustainable benefits to cocoa farming families. 

    The  initial  results are very encouraging with significant improvements being made in both productivity and quality. Many farms are forecast to more than double their productivity from last year with some even tripling their production to achieve as much as 2 ton per hectare this year. 

    We are very excited to share this data with you and will continue to update these results on a regular basis. Take a look at how Cocoa Care programs positively impact farmers and see more data click here -> http://www.cocoacare.org/pages/measuring-our-impact

    The above farm productivity report shows a significant increase in annual production by applying routine GAP and correct fertilizer application rates and methods.

    The data says it all!

     

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    Journey Into The Cocoa Farms

    Posted on February 11, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

    Written by Kate Janetski

    It is always a remarkable feeling to journey into the cocoa farms of South Sulawesi, Indonesia and see the transformations in the cocoa farming families and their farms as they progress through the Cocoa Care programs. 

    In mid January 2014, myself along with Cocoa Carer Noel and two special guests and supporters of Cocoa Care, Thomas Oberthür and SK Leng from IPNI, travelled up to Soppeng in South Sulawesi to visit those farmers involved in the IPNI program.

    Left to right: Cocoa Carer Darwis, SK Leng, Noel Janetski, Kate Janetski, Farmer Anis and Thomas Oberthür 

    The goal was to visit farms and document impacts that the IPNI program has had on cocoa farming, interview farmers, collect data on income distribution and to introduce farmers to the new TaroWorks data collection system (more on that later). Women completely dominated the income distribution sessions. Women in this part of the cocoa world traditionally manage the family money, so they know where it comes from and decide where it goes. These sessions provided further evidence that women play an extremely important role in the cocoa farming business and need to be supported. It was really great to see the women speaking openly and actively involved in the meetings. 

     
    Income distribution session with the ladies. L: Hasnawati (H Hade's wife). R: Hadi and Farmer Barata.

    Cocoa Care Advisor Noel Janetski reviewing TaroWorks data with some of the farmers.

    We visited over 2 dozen farms and the scene was consistent, cocoa pods everywhere! Smiling cocoa farmers all told us the same thing "there were no cocoa pods at all on our trees at this time last year". January being the low season, few farmers have cocoa pods on their trees as the farms are typically not managed very well. However, armed with the right knowledge, tools, materials and support, they are clearly seeing how their efforts are going to pay off and that their production this year is going to be the best in a very long time. 

     
    L: Farmer Aris. R: Farmer Sudirman

    It was a thrill to see that Farmer Tenri, who learnt a little bit about composting at training, decided to build his own "in farm" composting station and give it ago. We gave him a little helping hand with his composting effort by giving him some micro- organisms mix to aid the composting process and increase soil micro-biodiversity, a cover for the compost and some expert advise on how best to prepare his compost in the field.

       L: Farmer Tenri with his compost station. R: Tenri receives some help with composting from Cocoa Care.

    Farmers told similar stories to that of Farmer Sukardi, explaining that they were ready to abandon cocoa farming altogether and move into other crops, as their cocoa was not providing enough income to support their families. Then they heard about Cocoa Care and decided to give cocoa one last chance. Farmers giving up on cocoa farming is a real threat to the future of chocolate,  but this can be avoided if we help the farmers to better look after their farms to maintain healthier and more productive trees. 

     
    L: Farmer Sukardi and Cocoa Carer Darwis. R: Sukardi's farm is looking great!

    Cocoa Care was established to provide an opportunity for anybody and any company in the world to give cocoa farmers a helping hand out of their current difficult situation and onto a path toward sustainable cocoa farming. All of the Cocoa Care farmers have seen a very significant increase in production and a number of them are forecasting to more than double their productivity this year!

    In just 6 months after joining the IPNI / Cocoa Care program the changes are dramatic. Farms are obviously more healthy and there are pods on the trees even in the low season. This clearly shows the farmers how their work has paid off and the smiles on the faces, and overall demeanor is a great reflection of their dedication to be successful cocoa farmers. 

    It is really something extraordinary to see these people become proud, confident and happy cocoa farmers excited about their future in cocoa farming. 

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    Womans Tool Packs Distributed

    Posted on January 24, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

    Thanks to 2 sponsors, Nuhera and Asjiah have both received tools packs that will significantly help them with their roles on the cocoa farm. 

    In Indonesia, cocoa farming is a family business and usually comprises of a husband and wife team with both performing important and complimentary roles. Women play a critical role in the family farm particularly with farm sanitation, harvesting and bean drying and Cocoa Care provides women with the tools, work aids and training identified by cocoa farming women as most important for them to conduct their work.

    With new tool packs, Nuhera and Asijah can now work safely and efficiently allowing them to spend more time at home with their young daughters. 

    Cocoa Carer Zainiddin with Asijah her daughter Vania.

    It is critically important that we support women in cocoa farming families and we extend our thanks to the sponsors of these packs.

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