World Cocoa Foundation Visits Aceh, Indonesia
Entry: Virginia Sopyla, World Cocoa Foundation
Last week, I had the honor to attend the opening ceremony of the first training-of-trainers workshop for Swisscontact’s Proyek untuk Peningkatan Ekonomi Kakao Aceh (PEKA). The project is a Sub-Project Implementing Entity under the Economic Development Financing Facility Project which is supporting economic development activities in areas impacted by the December 2004 tsunami.
A group of approximately 50 facilitators and extension agents are participating in a two-week workshop designed to prepare them to lead Farmer Field Schools. The training is being led by a number of subject-area experts including those from World Cocoa Foundation member companies Armajaro and Mars, Inc., as well as experienced technical experts who have worked on successful cocoa programs in other areas of Indonesia. The first 16-week long Farmer Field Schools are scheduled to begin in October. Over the course of a 21-month period, the project will train 12,500 farmers in five districts of Aceh.
Virginia Sopyla, World Cocoa Foundation; Suharman, Component Manager – Cocoa Production, Swisscontact PEKA; Manfred Borer, PEKA Project Manager, Swisscontact
The opening ceremony was designed to welcome the participants to the training, acknowledge them for their role in improving the livelihoods of Aceh’s cocoa farmers, and to mark the start of the first activities under the project.