What is Cocoa Care?
There are more than 1 million cocoa farming families in Indonesia and the vast majority are struggling to make a living due to the high incidence of pests and diseases, ageing trees, poor soil management and insufficient technical knowledge about how to manage their farms for maximum productivity and environmental sustainability.
Fortunately, thanks to the work of agencies like the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Indonesian Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), USAID, the World Cocoa Foundation, and large companies like Mars, Incorporated, there are well recognised and agreed best practice solutions to all of these problems and a network or demonstration and training capabilities that farmers can access to get help.
The current challenge is to engage the very large number of cocoa farmers who need help, to get them to the demonstration and training sites, show them how to solve the problems on their farms and lend them a helping hand to get back on their feet managing truly sustainable cocoa farms into the future.
The Community Solutions International (CSI) ‘Cocoa Care” program is a unique way for any concerned individual or company in any part of the world to directly engage with Indonesian cocoa farming families and provide the necessary tools, materials and training to help get these families out of their current difficulties and onto a path toward a sustainable economic future in harmony with their environment.
As "Cocoa Care" is not affiliated with any of the larger private company or Government programs we are able to focus your support in areas where you can see the results of your work alone, or combine your contribution with others to leverage its impact over a broader area.
You may choose to support cocoa tree rehabilitation / replacement, soil rehabilitation, environmental diversity and management, agricultural practices training, the provision of necessary farm tools or the further development of farmer enterprise "Cocoa Care" services.
You may select a particular “Cocoa Carer” to work with, and in some cases chose which cocoa farming family you would like to help develop a more sustainable future. You can then monitor the progress of your work on line through our “Cocoa Care” website.
As "Cocoa Care" works with an existing network of farmer enterprise technical service agents, and leverages existing demonstration and training facilities, we are able to direct support funds very efficiently to get the necessary work done at farm level with much lower overhead costs than stand-alone programs.
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- Administration, farmer selection, farm needs evaluation, program development and management is 15% of program costs.
- Purchasing tools, fertilizer, compost etc. and delivery to farms is between 3 - 5% of program costs.
- Monitoring and reporting progress on farms is between 2 - 3 % of program costs
This means that cocoa farming families will receive the direct benefit of 77% - 80% of all supporter funds depending on the program. Tool packs, for example, do not require as much follow up and monitoring so 80% of supporter funds go directly to buy and get those tools into farmers hands. This is much higher than typical stand alone programs or projects that may require between 30 - 40% overhead and support costs.
As "Cocoa Care" grows in size we will continue to pass on efficiencies to cocoa farmers and keep you informed of our progress.