Improved Livelihoods through Cacao in North Papua

cacao-fruit

Strategy

STC is bringing its 20+ years of international spice and commodity trading experience, including Fair Trade products, to Papua’s cacao sector as part of a comprehensive strategy for the growth of the sustainable agribusiness sector. Cacao has been cultivated in Papua for over 60 years, but has been poorly maintained due to low prices and an onslaught of disease, and thus yields have declined as much as 70% in the last five years. STC works on the ground, providing basic technical training and facilitation directly to cacao farmers with a low-tech but more enlightened Farmer Field School methodology to address the crippling pest and disease problems.

Also, Papuan cacao is considered by many international buyers to have potential for gourmet quality, with special attributes such as high butterfat and low alkali content. The project’s intention is to help Papual cocoa farmers tap into the international market demand for ‘special origin’ products that has risen dramatically in recent years. Currently however, Papua’s cacao is often undervalued in some international markets due to quality issues related to poor processing, storage, and handling during production. So, beyond holistic cacao stand improvement, STC and its partners will improve product marketing and supply chain efficiency. These combined efforts will lead to a more sustainable cacao industry in Papua based on best practices such as reduced deforestation and whole farm management.

papua-people

Impact

The project goal is to improve the livelihoods of 1000 smallholder cacao producers through more sustainable production and increased income generation, and to bring approximately 1000 hectares of cacao under improved management to deter degradation or conversion of primary forests. Increased productivity and higher value cacao products will be achieved through field training for disease control and best management practices.

By the end of the project cycle, cacao farmers in Sarmi who adopt the new practices should be able to increase their income generation by at least 10% per year for at least five years. To monitor the project’s impact, rapid assessments and land cover analysis will verify the tangible benefits.