Cocoa plantations in Indonesia have many challenges, but that doesn’t mean there is no hope. The emergence of millennial farmers to cocoa bean exports is expected to be even more intense.
Webinar Krista and the Indonesian Cocoa Council (11/8) thoroughly discussed the issue of cocoa plantations in Indonesia today. A number of speakers from various fields related to chocolate were present to give presentations.
Dwi Atmoko Setiono, General Chairperson of the Indonesian Cocoa Council, explained that the chocolate industry in Indonesia is moving towards industry 4.0. It is hoped that the actors in it will use the internet as the main support in the cocoa production process.
He said the cocoa industry has great prospects, especially since Indonesia ranks third as the largest cocoa-producing country in the world after Ivory Coast and Ghana.
It’s just that Dwi and other informants admit that there are many challenges facing the Indonesian chocolate industry today. What are these challenges?
1. Condition of damaged cocoa plantations
Cocoa in Indonesia, the Role of Millennial Farmers to Export Fermented Cocoa Beans Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/sirichai_asawalapsakul
The low productivity of cocoa beans is a big challenge today. Endy Pranoto from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia explained that this was influenced by many things.
One of them is that many cocoa plants are old, damaged, and unproductive. The number even reached 31%. Other factors include less intensive cocoa bean garden maintenance, inadequate facilities, lack of technological innovation, and weak farmer institutions.
Arif Zamroni, Chairman of the Indonesian Cocoa Farmers Association, also explained that there was a lot of conversion of plantation land functions cocoa. In East Java, for example, cocoa land becomes sugar cane. “Outside of Java, the function is converted to palm oil. In some places there are also those who change the function to sengon,” he said.
Arif also highlighted the problem of cocoa bean plantations, which are mostly neglected. “Many are dry, plants full of pests, attacks by animals such as squirrels and monkeys,” he said. All of these have an impact on low cocoa productivity.