Friday, April 19, 2024

USAID initiates US$8.2 million program for cocoa and coffee agroforestry in Indonesia

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Audina Nur


Mahinda Arkyasa



The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is leading a new US$8.2 million project, aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability, bolstering climate resilience, and expanding market opportunities for coffee and cocoa/cacao farmers in rural Indonesia.

The new program, titled “Landscape Approach to Sustainable and Climate Change resilient Cocoa and Coffee Agroforestry (LASCARCOCO)”, is initiated in partnership with the Indonesian government, multinational raw ingredients company Olam Food Ingredients (Ofi), Belgium-based international non-profit Rikolto, and US-based food giant Hershey’s.

Economic sustainability and environmental conservation as dual focus

Whereas the latter project is largely geared towards economic sustainability, particularly among small-scale coffee farmers, LASCARCOCO is designated both to increase farmer yields and conserve some 14,000 hectares of watershed and buffer vegetation by 2025.

“USAID supports Indonesia’s efforts to balance economic growth and conservation,” USAID Indonesia mission director Jeff Cohen said on Wednesday (31/5).

“This new partnership will encourage cocoa and coffee farmers to adopt sustainable agroforestry practices that increase forest cover and diversify their crops, strengthening their ability to adapt to climate shocks,” he added.

Sustainable agroforestry training for farmers in Indonesia

LASCARCOCO will train 6,500 cocoa and coffee farmers in North Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and East Nusa Tenggara in sustainable agroforestry practice. 

It will specifically focus on districts that have experienced a decline in production in recent years attributed to various factors such as the adverse impacts of climate change, ageing trees, outbreaks of pests and diseases, and deteriorating soil fertility.

LASCARCOCO also aims to enhance sustainable livelihoods by providing training in good agricultural practices and implementing climate-smart agroforestry techniques. This approach involves cultivating cocoa and coffee alongside other income-generating crops. 

Additionally, the project will actively promote climate-friendly landscape management, fostering increased awareness, capacity, and participation of smallholders and local communities in climate change adaptation.

The project will tie into Ofi’s/Olam’s Farmer Information System for transparent and traceable supply chain data, while Rikolto will lead the farmer community engagement efforts. Hershey’s has agreed to purchase cocoa butter produced through the project for use in its chocolate products. 

Audina Nur


Mahinda Arkyasa




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