The People ARE the Giant
Entry: Bill Guyton
We just completed the second day of the Indonesia International Cocoa Conference, focusing on future production and marketing opportunities. The first speaker, Bayu Khrisnamutri, Deputy of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs in Indonesia, presented the country's national plan for cocoa development. I particuarly liked his remarks on encouraging small scale farmers. "The people ARE the giant", he said, and the government will help, where possible, to ensure their success.
The deputy mentioned that improved farmer productivity will be achieved in Indonesia through better farming practices, improved post harvest activities, and investment in the cocoa industry. He outlined a plan for cocoa production which included replanting, rehabilitation of aging trees, and some expansion of farming into new areas.
Other speakers discussed the market potential for chocolate in China, the regional state and vision for cocoa in Asia, and a new public-private initiative called "Cocoa Sustainability Partnership" or CSP. The presentations were all good, and we plan to post them on the World Cocoa Foundation website in the coming days. At the end of the conference, the organizers announced the formation of an "Indonesian Cocoa Board", but there were few details on this.
For the past two days, I have been in a conference hall, so I am looking forward to the field visit today to see local cocoa farms and fermentation pilot activities.