For The Future Of Cocoa 

Empowering Women With Financial Management Skills

Posted on November 12, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

Cocoa Care recognizes the critical role that women play in the management of Indonesian cocoa farms and supports their role in a variety of ways. 

Most recently, Cocoa Care has teamed up with SwissContact SCPP Indonesia to strengthen the financial management skills of women in cocoa farming, through the training of trainers in good small business financial practices (GFP).

In Sulawesi, it is usual that the women manage the family finances and control key investment decisions, including the purchase of important farm inputs.  Training in GFP is therefore extremely important to help them keep necessary records and budget correctly to manage their cash flow and save money for important family events and farm inputs.

Good financial management is a critical element of a profitable and long term sustainable cocoa farming business.  

The Swiss Contact "Training Of The Trainers" took place in Soppeng Sulawesi mid September 2014 and amongst them were 13 Cocoa Care Participants.

The training program was held over 3 days and consisted of a variety of topics including: basic cash flow and planning, what a financial institution is and what it expects from a client, about loans and why it is important to repay them, savings and how important it is to save, budgets etc. Sample calculations on things such as farm inputs (fertilizer, pest management materials etc), fermentation boxes, savings etc were provided. All participants were provided the opportunity to present to the group on their learnings and practice the skill of training others. 

The topic surrounding savings is highly important as farmers face challenges when it comes to lending. If savings are calculated into their financial management the challenges around lending can be virtually eliminated.   

Thanks to the help and support from Swiss Contact, we now have a core group of fully trained financial management trainers who will be paid by Cocoa Care to conduct training sessions to all other women in involved in the Cocoa Care programs. 


GFP training on women participating in existing Cocoa Care programs will be conducted during the coming months. We will also be adding this program to our list of support packages so please check back again soon. 

Cocoa Care participants at GFP training were:

  • Ibu Ratnawati (Married to Farmer Nurdin)
  • Ibu Kamasse (Married to Farmer Firman)
  • Ibu Salsia (Married to Farmer Sumange)
  • Ibu Nurlaelah (Married to Cocoa Carer MuhAris)
  • Ibu Asijah (Married to Farmer Sakti)
  • Ibu Syamsuriani (Married to Farmer Faizal)
  • Ibu Nur Amini (Married to Farmer Sukardi )
  • Fitri Wahyudi (Daughter of Farmer Sudirman)
  • Ibu Sumiati (Married to Farmer Tenri )
  • Cocoa Carer Darwis, Cocoa Care Supervisor Zainuddin, Cocoa Care IT Tech. Marsuci and Farmer Aris were also in attendance.



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Cocoa Development Centre Video

Posted on February 20, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

We came across this fascinating video recently that was produced by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2013 and thought we would share it. 

Since 2011, Mars has partnered with IFAD, an agency of the United Nations and the government of Indonesia to establish Cocoa Development Centres in Indonesia. These training centres are also where Cocoa Care farmers go to learn good agricultural practices essential for the sustainability of cocoa. 

This video highlights the challenges farmers in Indonesia are facing with decreasing cocoa yields and follows 2 cocoa farms through training as they learn new techniques. Furthermore and most encouraging it illustrates the success farmers are having since recieved training and then implemented their learnings back on their own farms. 

Watch below: 

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Salsia Takes Iniative

Posted on January 07, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

Sometimes we are surprised at the domino effect Cocoa Care sponsorship has, this story is one of those amazing surprises. 

Sumange and Salsia joined the Cocoa Care program in early 2013 and have been working extremely hard to manage their farm to improve productivity and have a more sustainable future.

However, we never expected that during random visit to their farm we would discover Cocoa Carer, and trainer, Farmer Aris was there teaching Salsia how to prune! 

Salsia has always been very active in the farm, usually around harvest time, however she told us that she actually loves working in the farm and wanted to learn and do more. So on her own accord, Salsia reached out to Cocoa Carer Aris and asked him if he would come and teach her to prune. Which he did! 

The initiative Salsia has taken to learn how to prune correctly is a testament to their dedication. We are so proud of her and pleased Cocoa Carer Zainuddin happened to be there and could capture this in photos. 

Salsia learns about pruning from Cocoa Carer Aris. 
Salsia with Cocoa Carer Aris learning how to use a pruning pole

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Compost Business Established

Posted on August 10, 2013 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

Thanks to Cocoa Care program sponsor International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and our friends at Mars Indonesia, a compost business has been established in Soppeng Indonesia.  

Why is composting important? In order to improve soil condition, restore and increase soil carbon levels and re-establish natural soil micro-organisms farmers need to add organic materials in the form of compost.  

From June through July a compost house was built by one of the farmer groups involved in the IPNI program, under the supervision of Cocoa Carer Darwis. 

 L: Women shelter from the sun under the compost house roof. R: Compost House completed.


Following the construction of the compost house, Mars Indonesia donated and delivered the necessary compost equipment and provided the essential training in order to produce high quality fertilizer.


  Cocoa Carer Darwis and Farmer Aris learning about composting.


L: Learning how to use the machinery. R: Darwis applies beneficial natural soil microorganisms. 

Farmers involved in the Cocoa Care programs delivered waste from their farms to add to the compost. Cocoa Care pays the Cocoa Farmers Rp 5,000 (USD 0.50c) per bag of waste pods adding value to the cocoa farming system. 

An example of some of the materials that will go into the compost are: 

  • Waste Cocoa Pods 
  • Corn and banana stalks
  • Rice Husks
  • Prunings from shade trees
  • Cocoa Bark Waste from the cocoa paper production. 

 L: Farmer Aris brings waste pods from his farm. R: Some of the materials that go into making compost.






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More training for the IPNI program farmers

Posted on June 11, 2013 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

Training Date: May 19, 2013

Having learned the fundamentals of GAP (good agricultural practices) on day 1 of training, day 2 is designed to inspire farmers by showing them a farm that consistently achieves 2 - 3 metric tons per hectare. This provides motivation for them to implement their learnings back on their own farm.

Day 2 started out with a visit to HJ Hasan's farm which is consistently producing 2 ton per hectare. Here they were able to learn from HJ Hasan, a fellow farmer, on how he achieves this productivity. The farmers also took this opportunity to ask HJ Hasan questions and learn from his experience. 

Following this farm visit, it was off to learn about integrated pest management, the importance of using personal protective equipment, good soil management and how to take soil samples. 

At the end of day 2, the cocoa care team and IPNI program farmers returned home with a wealth of information, grateful for this opportunity and very keen to get back and implement their learnings. 

Photo's below:

 L: HJ Hasan talks to farmers about how he achieves 2ton per ha.     R: Farmer Iskander amazed by all the cocoa

IPNI Farmers amazed by the quantity and quality of cocoa on HJ Hasan's farm. 

 R: HJ Hasan's cocoa!     R: Ramil can't help but smile at all this cocoa.

 Learning about integrated pest management & personal protective equipment.

 L & R: Learning how to take soil samples.

 Farmers learn how to perform soil profiling a 1meter depth and find it fun

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