New Coffee Futures
Indonesia’s potential in coffee production is enormous. It is located within an ideal geographic area for coffee plantations near the equator and has mountainous regions across the islands which creates well-suited microclimates for the growth and product
Indonesia’s potential in coffee production is enormous. It is located within an ideal geographic area for coffee plantations near the equator and has mountainous regions across the islands which creates well-suited microclimates for the growth and production of coffee. Poor practice and disease are having a significant impact on production levels, plantations are old and need replanting, and climate change is adversely affecting the harvest. Furthermore, the use of certain banned pesticides are damaging the reputation of Indonesian coffee in importing countries. Some farmers are also switching to more profitable crops such as rubber and palm oil, which causes acreage in coffee to decrease.
SNV's New Coffee Futures project (2014 - 2017), funded by the Ford Foundation aims to improve the income of more than 500 farmers located in 16 villages on Flores island, taking advantage of the growing reputation of Flores Coffee.
On Flores, around 100,000 farmers grow Arabica and Robusta coffee on small plots of land and some farmers own just a few hundred trees. Flores coffee is beginning to develop a reputation amongst coffee connoisseurs in Europe and Japan.
Coffee is a major income source for many farmers, but it is not nearly as profitable as it could be. Coffee productivity per hectare or per coffee bush is currently very low. Many coffee plants are more than 30 years old. With the ideal age for a coffee plant being 15-20 years, this has a serious impact on production. Crop maintenance is minimal with little pruning and low fertilization. Farmers often limit activities to harvesting and processing of the cherries.
Brewing an inclusive solution
Building on the experiences, SNV’s main goal is to increase business linkages for coffee farmers and improve their income. A second goal has been to work towards the formation and support of a national platform to address the issues facing the coffee sector.
Improve production for farmers
SNV work on strengthening selected farmer groups. For producers, farm management and post-harvesting are the most important activities for sustainable and improved production. SNV aims to improve production and support farmer’s knowledge through:
Farm planning to improve agricultural practices and maximize land assets
Increasing crop diversity to increase sources of income
Introduce intercropping to increase biodiversity and the health of farms
Improve knowledge of agricultural inputs : fertilizer, improved varieties
Better harvesting and post-harvesting techniques ; improved selection
Linking farmer groups to businesses is a proven strategy. The formation of such links through SNV’s “Inclusive Business” concept can have significant results as commercial entities see the advantage of investing in the supply chain and small scale producers. Many coffee companies are unaware of the need and benefits of taking a more inclusive approach to developing their supply chains. Some wish to invest, but do not have the network or resources to directly engage with farmers to improve quality of production. SNV approaches commercial partners who have an interest in specialty coffee and adding value to coffee through quality improvement, and who are concerned about developing a stable and sustainable supply chain. SNV aims to assist companies to expand their investments, linking them directly to farmers and co-investing in building farmer capacities. This will help build a sustainable coffee supply chain benefiting both farmers and companies.
Private commercial partners has been identified and motivated to co-invest in the supply chain, contributing to training and equipment. It is intended that they will become reliable buyers for farmer groups.
Developing database of coffee actors
For the development of the coffee sector, mapping of the actors is essential so that efforts to improve the coffee sector are synergistic and not duplicated. It is often the case that development actors overlap in their activities.
Mapping and the resulting database will also help buyers identify possible sources of coffee – enabling them to buy directly from producers and farmer organizations, as well as provide a transparent traceability system. The database uses an Android-based application, AKVO FLOW, to ensure that information can be disseminated easily among interested coffee parties.
Support National Platform SCOPI
Starting in 2013, SNV has been active in the process of establishing the Sustainable Coffee Platform on Indonesia (SCOPI). In order for SCOPI to be a success, the active partners must remain fully engaged to ensure that the dynamics and energy of the platform is retained. For the las couple of years, SNV actively involved in some SCOPI task forces including Transfer of Technology and Effective Farmers Organisation and Sustainability Standards and Geographical Indication.
SNV demonstrates the positive effects of the on-the-ground project activities in eastern Indonesia as an example of how private partners, NGOs and farmer groups can form alliances that are a win-win. To encourage farmer participation in SCOPI, SNV also encouraged our local partner to participate in SCOPI trainings and activities.
The right blend
SNV manage and implement the project in partnership with local based organizations and professional service providers. SNV brings our inclusive business approach and knowledge of the international coffee sector. Local implementing partners bring in their broad depth of specific area experience in the coffee sector in Indonesia.
In Manggarai district in Flores Island we work with a local partner, Ayo Indonesia, with the funding from Ford Foundation from 2014 - 2017. Together, we support to strengthen 16 farmer groups and 500+ farmers in Flores on technical capacity and to improve its financial administration and member administration.