Several hundred cocoa-farmers participated in an intensive twelve-day training program in Sumatra, Indonesia, where safe and efficient cocoa farming techniques were taught and implementedROLLE, SWITZERLAND, Feb. 27, 2013 – The SCPP (Sustainable Cocoa Production Program), a training program supported by ADM’s sustainability program, S.E.R.A.P. (Socially and Environmentally Responsible Agricultural Practices), IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative) and SECO (Suisse State Secretariat for Economic Affairs) and implemented by Swisscontact, is experiencing promising success in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Three hundred Indonesian farmers, one third of which were women, attended the first phase of the pilot training program. Since the inception of the program in October 2012, tests have shown that there have been significant developments in the understanding of cocoa quality and increased productivity. The program has led to the advancement of gender equality, which is a key issue in improving the livelihoods of local farmers and their communities. Throughout the program, additional attention has also been given to the importance of a balanced nutrition.
“The people are fantastic, very receptive and eager to learn and improve. The start of the first phase of the program was great. The basics were quickly understood and also implemented in the field at an impressive speed, leading to rapid progress and noticeable success,” said Michiel Hendriksz, ADM Cocoa’s director of sustainability.
The training program focuses on good agricultural practices, with an emphasis on quality control, grafting techniques and farm management. Adequate and sufficient planting material and soil fertility, including composting technology, are also vital to the success of the program. In addition to the social and environmental aspects that are woven into the training modules, there are a variety of practical manual training exercises completed in the field.
Further support to assist in the next phase of the program has been put in place. The next phase will concentrate on post-harvest processes, such as fermentation and sorting and cleaning, which each play a critical role in the intrinsic quality development of cocoa. Adhering to certification standards, the improvement of quality, including the degree of fermentation, all provided by S.E.R.A.P. and SCPP training, will empower Indonesian farmers to generate greater earnings from the area farmland in use.
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