For The Future Of Cocoa 
 

Fertilizer Kiosks

Posted on September 05, 2016 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

As a part of the joint Cocoa Care program with IPNI, Lautan Luas and Uralkali fertilizer kiosks are being established in South Sulawesi to provide farmers with easy access to vital fertilizers and tools and other materials. 

The owner operators of the kiosks are existing Cocoa Care farmers who have shown potential to become lead farmers. These farmers will receive advanced training in soil management and plant nutrition so they will be able to provide simple soil testing from the kiosk, make recommendations on a plant nutrition strategy and then sell farmers the fertilizer mix. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Replacing cocoa trees to Increase Productivity

Posted on April 01, 2015 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

All 33 farmers currently participating in the Uralkali / Cocoa Care program including the 10 farmers supporting commission trial plots, have received new best quality top grafted seedlings to replace dead cocoa trees in their farms as part of the rehabilitation package.

 

The replacement of dead trees is an essential part of cocoa farm rehabilitation as the farmer seeks to maximise productivity and minimise losses due to pests and diseases though the consistent implementation of Good Agricultural Practices including the application of the right amount of the right fertilisers, in the right place at the right time.

 

Thank you Uralkali, for caring about Indonesian cocoa farmers.

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Group Farmer GAP Training

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

On June 2, 2014 the first group of farmers to join the Uralkali / IPNI program travelled to Tarengge, South Sulawesi to attend a 2 day intensive training session with highly experienced trainers. 

Over the course of the 2 days, farmers are taught a variety of topics that give farmers the fundamental knowledge and skills in GAP (good agricultural practices). Topics included are; Correct pruning techniques, farm sanitation, pest and disease management, fertilizing, pod and bean quality, pod opening, effects of cocoa pod borer on beans (black beans), harvesting and quality control.

In class training sessions are combined with practical classes on a demonstration farm which allows farmers to practice their learnings under the guidance of the trainer. At the end of each day the farmers return to the classroom for more learning, Q&A and give presentations to the rest of the group.

These training sessions are also combined with a visit to a demonstration farm which 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.   

Cocoa farmers arrive at the Mars Training centre in Tarengge 

 Cocoa farmers attend one of several in-class training session

 Visiting a demonstration farm. Farmers are amazed by all the cocoa & take photos.

 
Learning about the importance of pruning.

 Practicing their learning on a demonstration farm under the guidance of a trainer.

 Learning about fertilizers and how to measure them correctly.

 
Learning about fertilizing continued-  Digging holes ready for fertilizer application.

 Farmers apply fertilizers.

 Farmers learn about pest management.

At the end of the GAP training trip, these farmers returned home with a wealth of information, grateful for this opportunity and very keen to get back to their farms and implement their learnings under the guidance from the Cocoa Care team. On-Farm training with a Cocoa Carer is to follow. 

 

 

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Soil & Leaf Sampling

Posted on June 03, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

To measure the full impact that specific interventions might have on soil condition, tree health, tree productivity and bean size (amongst other things) it is important that soil samples are taken for laboratory testing prior to the intervention. 

All cocoa farms involved in the IPNI program, have had soil and leaf samples collected which took around one week to complete. This dedicated group of farmers worked day, night to ensure the soil samples were collected swiftly in order to allow time for laboratory testing before the fertilizing and composting work can commence.

As we progress through the Uralkali program, soil & leaf testing will be conducted to measure the impact of fetilizer and compost applications and to asses the further requirements for each farm. Requirements may vary from farm to farm depending on soil, climatic and other location conditions so each farm is monitored individually. 

The next steps will be to completely map and count every tree on each farm along with preparing for routine monitoring by marking the "control" trees (those that will not have specific soil management applied) and the "test" trees (those that will have ideal soil management applied) so that farmers can clearly see the positive benefits that investing in their soil will have.

Photos following: 

  L: Cocoa Carer's Aris and Darwis who led the sampling activity. L: Cocoa Care Monitors Pak Suprato and Askar. 

 L: Marsuci collects leaf samples. R: Cocoa Carer Darwis and Marsuci package leaf samples for the laboratory

  Farmers participate in taking soil samples on their own farms under the supervision of Cocoa Carer Darwis. 

 Farmers participate in taking soil samples on their own farms with help from Cocoa Care Monitor- Askar.

  L Cocoa Care Darwis. R: Soil and leave samples are complete!

Some of the participants in the soil and leaf sampling including Marsuci (2nd from left), Cocoa Carer Darwis (3rd from left) and Cocoa Care Monitor Askar (right).

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Group Meeting With Cocoa Care

Posted on May 26, 2014 by Cocoa Care | 0 comments

Cocoa Care Technical Advisor Noel Janetski along with other members of the Cocoa Care team undertook a field trip to the Soppeng region to meet farmers involved in the Uralkali / IPNI program on May 22, 2014. During this meeting we were able to explain to these farmers what the program was about, the kinds of activities that would be conducted and the time frame along with a variety of other points. The meeting was conducted in their own language and provided an opportunity for farmers to ask any questions. 

 

All farmers involved in the program were clearly struggling to maintain a sustainable level of cocoa production and were quite vocal about being grateful for the help that this program will provide them. 

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