An exciting new book, published by ACIAR and targeted at helping smallholder cocoa farmers in Indonesia, was launched at the Indonesian International Cocoa Symposium, held in Jakarta from 18th to 20th October 2017. The book, entitled Pengelolaan Tanaman Terpadu pada Kakao: Panduan bagi Petani (Integrated Crop Management of Cocoa: Guidebook for Farmers), was written by Agus Purwantara and Arief Iswanto, two of Indonesia's leading cocoa experts. Agus and Arief, who were present at the launch, have been stalwart collaborators in a succession of ACIAR Cocoa Projects in Indonesia since 2001.
|At the launch of the cocoa handbook, delighted authors Agus Purwantara (right) and Arief Iswanto (left), are flanked by researchers from the ACIAR cocoa project, David Guest and Peter McMahon, respectively.|
Indonesia’s production of cocoa, starting from next-to-nothing in 1980, boomed over the following two decades, making the country the world’s third-largest producer of this commodity. The increase came mainly from new plantings in Sulawesi. However, production peaked in 2006 and has subsequently declined due to reduced soil fertility, over-shaded plantations and a build-up of pests and diseases. The publication of this guidebook comes at an opportune time, as the government of Indonesia seeks to encourage a comprehensive revival of the country’s cocoa industry.
|Mr.Teten Masduki, Presidential Chief of Staff of Indonesia, holds a copy of the cocoa handbook, personally delivered to the President’s office by author Arief Iswanto.|
The book has been well received in Indonesia and Arief has even delivered a copy directly to the President's office.