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CocoaTrace For Sustainable Cocoa Production In Indonesia
by Manfred Borer (Program Director, Swisscontact)
Factors of particular concern are ageing tree, pests and diseases, declining soil fertility, outdated farming techniques, effects of climate change and farm conversion due to competing crops and urbanization. Nonetheless, the growing demand, including for higher quality products, also offers opportunities for improving the livelihoods of rural communities. Realizing these opportunities, Swisscontact in collaboration with Nestlé and Cargill, as part of the Cocoa Working Group within PISAgro, is implementing the Sustainable Cocoa Production Program (SCPP). Specific activities are aligned with the 20-20-20 goal of PISAgro. SCPP is implemented from 2012-15 with the overarching goals to achieve sustainable cocoa production and contributes to overall cocoa sector development in Indonesia. The program is targeting 60,000 cocoa farmer households with at least 20% women participation to receive skills trainings in farm productivity and quality of cocoa beans comprises of farming good practices and technology transfer system, nutrition and gender sensitivity integration, farmer organization, market access and certification, integrated agri-business financing, and stakeholder management and networking platform.
One of the available tools to foster sustainable cocoa production and yield higher quality cocoa beans is certification and physical traceability of cocoa. Certified/Traceable cocoa is considered to be produced in compliance with sustainability requirements and its premium price can improve the living standards of cocoa farmers. The certification process to be conducted through following rigorous quality standards and regulations for the production and handling of the cocoa produce is significant. New innovations are required to cope with these challenges and to improve the cocoa farmer’s household livelihoods without overburden them with administrative measures. SCPP has envisioned the utilization of a web and mobile application to replace the traditional stationary for data collection and monitoring progress. The program perceives that the usage of huge amounts of traditional stationary, pen and paper, is time-consuming and prone to human error that may affect productivity, data quality and accuracy. The program has engaged with Koltiva, an Indonesian Software Start-Up, to develop a Web and Android based application called CocoaTrace.
CocoaTrace is a cutting-edge application used to collect, evaluate, and report relevant data from every smallholder farmer involved in the program. The application includes important information such as farmer and household’s demographic data, and every cocoa orchard, the number of cocoa trees, productivity, prevailing pests and diseases, application of best practices, number of trainings, maps containing farm locations, buying stations, and so on. The application is also equipped with various formulas to analyze baseline and survey data and present it in the application dashboard allowing users to quickly read farmer’s statistics.
Farmer organizations and supply chain partners are trained in use of the application and are continuously coached to ensure accuracy of data collect from all farmers and tracing cocoa delivered through the supply chain while also taking their feedbacks for an ease use for the famers.
SCPP also established Internal Control System (ICS) using the CocoaTrace with farmer’s organization at village, sub-district, and district levels. With the CocoaTrace, the farmer organizations can easily extract data of members’ progress and ensure their compliance to the certification and traceability requirements. The database presented by the application can be used by farmer’s organization to monitor members’ increase productivity, agricultural problems, increase of income from premium price of certified cocoa beans, and implement the ICS.
At the demand side, relevant stakeholders of certified and traceable cocoa are provided with login information to access the cocoa farmer profiles, farm database, process, production volumes, and post-harvest handling to ensure total transparency. SCPP is transferring the full utilization of CocoaTrace to farmer’s organization and supply chain partners. Simultaneously, evaluation is ongoing to improve the CocoaTrace user interfaces and improve data submission processes.
Increasing efficiency, productivity and sustainability of smallholders cocoa farmers is an area where CocoaTrace can contribute. With the utilization of CocoaTrace in the ICS, farmers will benefit of a higher level of ownership in data produced and offering their cocoa at a premium price – ultimately reimbursing their efforts in improved farm management and full transparency and traceability of cocoa production. The application also can be used for a number of other purposes such as to create a more efficient farmer’s business analyses when it applied for a loan, calculate efficient use of agricultural inputs or facilitating audits and program evaluations. When fully integrated with the famer organizations and supply chain partners, the CocoaTrace can help farmers to achieve a sustainable production with a better price to improve their livelihood.
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