Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Promoting sustainable learning for cacao farmers

Concept of farmers' labs

Many provinces could be turned into major cacao producing areas through an intensification program. However, a sustainable agriculture concept should be adopted so that the intensification program would not harm the environment.
Sustainable practices are applied by some farmer groups in Indonesia. Yet many farmers still use the traditional approach to agriculture, which harms the environment and brings little benefit. Immediately after harvesting, they strive to sell their cacao beans to middlemen in order to get quick money, without considering the sustainable market for their product and enhancing their own income.
The main barrier to pro-environmental and sustainable practices is the personal attitude of the farmers. They do not put much effort into gaining knowledge about the negative impacts of their agricultural practices, which can result in a more vulnerable situation for their livelihood. The mind-set of the farmers makes them act and react based on the experiences of their forefathers, not based on knowledge and science. This value creates perceptions among the farmers that their forefathers who used old farming practices for a long time are more reliable than the knowledge that comes from external actors.