In collaboration with the local Government of Central Aceh Regency, Aceh Province and the Government of Karo Regency, North Sumatra Province, SCOPI has recently commenced the implementation of “Indonesia Coffee Export Development Program”, a five-year program that is extensively supported by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). Two kick-off meetings were consecutively held in Central Aceh and Karo Regencies on 13 and 18 October 2021 that marked the official start of the program.
SCOPI Executive Director, Ms. Paramita Mentari Kesuma expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the local government of both regencies, ITFC, Master Trainers (MTs) and other stakeholders for their extensive support toward this collaborative program.
“The first year of the program implementation, from October 2021 to September 2022, will be focusing more on the capacity building activities through provision of series of trainings for farmers and MTs, recruitment of new MTs and development of demonstration plots in both regencies,” she explained, adding that this work would form part of the collaboration between SCOPI and ITFC over the next five years.
The “Indonesia Coffee Export Development Program” aims to achieve a sustainable increase in coffee quality and quantity through capacity building and promoting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to coffee farmers in Indonesia. The program framework includes: capacity building in the coffee sector, application of the master trainer upgrade plan, master trainer business viability, and monitoring and evaluation activities.
For the ITFC Regional Trade & Business Development Coordinator, Mr. Fathu Hidayat this program may sound simple, but it was “developed according to the needs of coffee players in both regencies, so that it will have big impacts”. He said he hoped that all parties involved can produce practical solutions that suit their needs and work together to achieve the set targets.
Earlier in 2019, SCOPI and ITFC implemented a short-term pilot project in Karo Regency, North Sumatera Province to support the implementation of GAP and Post-harvest trainings in a bid to enhance the productivity and quality of Indonesian coffee sector from upstream-downstream in the value chain. In 2020, SCOPI signed MoU with these two regencies on the sustainable coffee production for a period of five years. Ms. Mentari said, “To date, there are seven active master trainers, four in Central Aceh and three in Karo, who have been trained and contented with the National Curriculum of Sustainable Cultivation and Postharvest Training Modules”.
Central Aceh Regency
In Central Aceh Regency, a full-day kick-off meeting was held formally in October 2021. In his opening remarks, the Regent of Central Aceh, Mr. Drs. Shabela Abubakar said that coffee plantations are one of the leading sectors and have an important role in the economic development of the people of Central Aceh Regency with the region comprising of 49.835 hectare of Arabica Coffee plantation that produces 34.609 tons of coffee per year, with the average productivity of 813 kg per hectare and involved 37.925 households.
Mr. Drs. Shabela Abubakar added that, recently the productivity of Gayo Coffee plantation was decreasing due to climate change, pests and diseases. He said programs such as this “will increase the productivity of Gayo Coffee in the sustainable way and at the same time the coffee export facilities such as port and warehouse receipt system could be improved.”
The Assistant II Aceh Provincial Secretary, Mr. Ir. Mawardi stated that the Provincial government will continue their support to the sustainable coffee export development program and application of GAP in Central Aceh Regency. As for the Warehouse Receipt System, Central Aceh has five active warehouses, one warehouse is managed by the government while the other four are managed by the private sector. He stressed that “Besides increasing the coffee production, there is a need to improve export facilities such as port, thus Provincial government will encourage the activation of the Krueng Geukeuh Seaport to support coffee export activities”.
The Head of Plantation Division of the Karo Regency Agriculture Department, Mr. Hendriawan Girsang, welcomed and supported this program which will be implemented for years. He said “the Karo Regency is currently promoting a 100 Ha coffee plantation development program, the most challenging part is to encourage farmers to grow coffee as coffee is still considered as a hedge plant, not as mainstay commodity, moreover people are less interested in growing coffee due to fluctuating prices.”
Head of Agricultural Extension of the Karo Regency Agriculture Department, Mr. Ajaren added “Karo Regency has 133 agricultural extension workers of which 37 civil servants and the rest are temporary workers”. The Karo Regency Agricultural Extension or Balai Penyuluhan Pertanian has collected data on millennial farmers which can be synergized with the SCOPI-ITFC program.
The meeting further discussed the technical implementation of long-term & short-term programs. One of the programs that will be implemented in the first year is the making of a demonstration plot. Two demonstration plots will be developed in Lepar Samura Village, Tigapanah Sub-district, Karo Regency.
According to the organizers, these partnerships give hope that more concrete actions on the ground can be held through such public-private partnerships to improve coffee farmers’ livelihoods. This also signifies the importance and benefits of the support from the Global Coffee Platform and its Members to SCOPI as a national platform of sustainable coffee in Indonesia.