Indonesian coffee producers are not keeping up with rising demand – a hot topic at the Trade Expo Indonesia 2019. At present, the demand for coffee – both domestic and international – has increased by 248% in the past 10 years, yet the production has failed to catch up with the needs, only growing by 17%; the crops limited by sub-optimal farming approaches and production management.
The response to the demand is a key priority of the Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI), which participated at the internationally renowned trade event by promoting Indonesia’s top coffee, promoting sustainable practices and strengthening partnerships with regional governments. SCOPI’s board Member Irvan Helmi was on hand at the event where he addressed policy on export of coffee and its derivatives during an event, highlighting SCOPI’s efforts in increasing the capacity of farmers to improve farm practices and post-harvest management.
In particular, SCOPI has been working towards improved transfer of knowledge and ultimately increased farm production through National Sustainability Curriculum, which was launched in partnership with the national and regional governments, private sectors, non-profit organizations, research groups and donors.
During the meeting with regional governments, which was also attended by the Director General of Estate Crops under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Kasdi Subagyono, the Ministry announced its national program of BUN500. This program focuses on distributing 500 million seedlings from 2020 to 2024 to farmer groups nationwide.
Mr. Kasdi affirmed that the current 0.7 tonnes coffee productivity per hectare needs to increase announcing that the Ministry of Agriculture is targeting the provision of 163.7 million coffee seeds through BUN500. The Director General took the chance to also appreciate SCOPI’s performance, its members and partners in coffee sustainability effort in the country, “we also need partners, we cannot work alone”.
The trade event also provided a great opportunity for SCOPI to strengthen its relationship with partners, particularly regional governments. SCOPI has engaged and signed partnership objectives with 28 local governments from coffee provinces/districts across the archipelago.
Specifically, during the expo, SCOPI organized a focus group discussion with all partnering governments to take up potentials and turn them into opportunities. This topic stresses the platform’s focus on regions’ strengths and potentials that may open doors to multiple opportunities or collaborations, a chance to increase coffee quality, expand market access and ultimately create better life for farmers – some of whom were also present at the expo, bringing their coffee beans and telling stories to visitors of how knowledge is shared in the field, how support transpires into practice and what changed.
The expo also provided an opportunity for SCOPI to engage with government; the platform offered 18 topics of trainings and capacity focus for the next year. Each government made list of priorities which also showed perceived challenges unique to each region – the central parts of Indonesia seek to focus on rejuvenation, fertilizer, seedlings, pest and disease management, while in the east, the governments highlighted farm improvements through rejuvenation, post-harvest management and strengthening capacity of master trainers and champion farmers.
These priorities across the regions intertwine with farm practices, which are increasingly affected by climate impact. Coffee practices that take consideration of climate knowledge, adaptation and mitigation may increase farmers’ resilience against threats and risks related to climate factors, hampering the effort to increase productivity.
SCOPI’s work, supported by the Global Coffee Platform, Rainforest Alliance, Ford Foundation and Rikolto, has been buoyed by the trade expo and the platform continues as enabler and collaborator to synergize programs among stakeholders, through both the rollout of the national sustainability curriculum and as mentor to the Indonesian coffee sector.