Improving farmer revenue through national policy roll-out

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Improving farmer revenue through national policy roll-out

Coffee Champions | Indonesia

Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest coffee producer after Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia.

With the demand for coffee increasing both nationally and internationally, there are new opportunities for the country and the thousands of smallholders farmers who make a living from coffee production.

The Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI) is the national platform for sustainable coffee which brings together the government bodies, coffee farmer organizations, NGOs, trade, roasters, and retailers to ensure coffee is grown at high levels of productivity in an environmentally sound manner and improves the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers.

In 2016, a National Sustainability Curriculum was created, endorsed by the Indonesian government, and rolled out across the country. The curriculum was made to train coffee farmers in good agricultural and business practices.

One promising example can be witnessed at a coffee farm in Malang, East Java. Here, farmers are comprehensively trained in cultivating coffee seeds. As a result, their ability to implement good agricultural and manufacturing practices is increased. The additional training materials provided also include farmer driven research, intercropping and zero waste management resources.

“We have trained 110 Master Trainers using this program and in turn, these Master Trainers have trained a further 3,500 farmers”

Jajang Slamet Sumantri Master Trainer, DTPHP-Malang,

“By joining this program, these farmers will be taught on how to apply Good Agricultural Practices correctly until post-harvest. Which will result in increased productivity and with it, revenues will also increase. When the products are of high quality then the selling price will also be higher”

Veronica Herlina
Executive Director, SCOPI

“After receiving the business analysis training report, I am now able to compare my expenses and profits. After I plant the seeds, we can calculate the profits and the loss, the expenses and the projected profits. We usually did not know any of these. We just spend money without paying attention to the profit and loss”

Director, PT. Asal Jaya

Local businesses who are registered as SCOPI Members are also directly involved in the curriculum. 2016 marked the kick-off of a private and public partnership between PT. Asal Jaya, a local coffee exporter, the local government of Malang district, and some 15,000 coffee farmers. Together they produced an integrated coffee farming and diversification system and created a sustainable and balanced ecosystem well suited for thriving coffee crops.

“For the pruning process, I first did it instinctive because there was no guidance. After the trainings, we can even guide our friends on how to prune properly”

Mochamad Suwignyo
Treasurer, Sejaterah Farmer Group

This is because studies have shown that increasing the quantity and quality of coffee production, crop diversification, and intercropping can lead to higher income for farmers. Crop diversification is indeed an important strategy to secure the farmers income and improve their livelihoods and one that is recognized by Indonesian coffee farmers – as Leader of the Margo Makmur Farmer Group, Muhamad Alianto states: I’d like to cultivate other crops such as chilli or vanilla that has high selling value so when there’s a bad coffee year, other crops can be my other source of income”.

As part of the platform and co-developer of the National Sustainability Curriculum, IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative worked with SCOPI to build the business case and made it accessible for farmers like Muhamad. Imam Suharto, Senior Program Manager Coffee and Cocoa at IDH Indonesia believes that: “through the national curriculum, we can train coffee producers properly so they can increase their productivity. From that improved productivity, we hope Indonesian coffee farmers are able to produce better coffee, for better prices, which in the end will increase their revenues”.

“We hope each farmer can produce a production equivalent of 2.5 to 3 tons per hectare. Currently, we have reached around 40 – 50 % with 2 tons equivalent per hectare.”

Director, PT. Asal Jaya