Monitoring Impacts to Demonstrate the Benefits
Cocoa Care welcomes Pak Suprapto, who has joined the team specifically to monitor and impacts of the support being provided by the IPNI program and to demonstrate those benefits clearly to both participating and other cocoa farmers in the area.
All of the farms have been mapped and divided into "control" zones (usually 50 -100 trees painted with a red mark) and "Test" zones, which in most cases is the rest of the farm (sample trees in the "test" zone have been painted with a blue ring).
Pak Suproto, who has more than 30 years of agricultural extension field experience, has started taking samples every two weeks from every "red" control tree and every blue "test" tree on every farm being supported by the IPNI program. Every time he visits the farm he counts all of the flowers on every tree, all of the small pods, the large pods and pods ready for harvest. He also notes any incidence of pests or diseases and harvests all of the ripe pods to measure the productivity and the size of the beans, which is an important quality attribute.
Each sample of beans is dried on specially prepared tables so that the productivity and quality can be monitored for each control and test area of each farm. The dried beans are returned to each family along with the data so that they can see for themselves the difference that the intervention is making.