Barriers to Upgrading of Cocoa production at the farm level in Southeast Sulawesi
The Indonesian cocoa sector has expanded vividly in recent years, but the recent boom in the incidence of cocoa pests and diseases on the island of Sulawesi has resulted in a crisis in the cocoa production at the farm level. The cocoa farmers are experiencing lower yields and deteriorating cocoa quality, which also increases the costs associated with processing and import of raw beans for the domestic cocoa grinding industry.
This study involves an exploration of the factors that influence the cocoa farmers’ ability and willingness to adopt recommended farming and post-harvest practices in order to overcome the challenges at the farm level and upgrade their cocoa production in line with the market opportunities in the cocoa sector. This study identifies the barriers for upgrading the cocoa production at the farm level in Konawe district in Southeast Sulawesi through a combined qualitative study of the local market chain and the cocoa farmers’ farming and post-harvest strategies.
The analysis shows that the farmers are unable or unwilling to upgrade their cocoa production due to a wide spectrum of imperfections in the local market and supply chain, combined with the farmers’ limited personal capacity. The analysis emphasizes the importance of improving the transmission of market incentives and knowledge of less demanding farming techniques to the farmers.