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.