“Chocapocalypse” Defence Initiatives in Indonesia

The World Cocoa Foundation stated that annual increase in global demand for cocoa has been three percent per year, for the past hundred years. The global cocoa demand is estimated to be increased by similar levels in the coming years and, as such, puts Indonesia in a potentially fortunate position as the country is the world third largest producers and exporters of this commodity. According to Indonesia Coffee and Cacao Research Institute (ICCRI), there are approximately 1.74 hectares’ cacao plantation in Indonesia and the country ‘s current primary competitive advantage lies in its ability to supply large quantities of affordable (standard quality) cocoa beans.

Chocolate Crisis

Globally, the chocolate producers are struggling due to different issues. Cocoa plant requires humid tropical climates and shades of rainforests, which limits areas of plantation. Indeed, global warming is now a serious threat.

While estimates indicate the diseases and pests cause yearly losses of 30% to 40% of the total global cocoa production according to International Cocoa Organization. In June 2018, Ivory Coast made announcement that they are destroying an entire cocoa plantation of approximately 100,000 hectares to stop swollen-shoot plant virus from spreading further.

As a result of “natural” hazards coupled with price fluctuations, cocoa farmers consider switching to alternatives potentially more profitable and easier to produce.

Same trouble in Indonesia, who experienced declining cocoa output since 2010 due to poor weather and ageing cocoa trees. Around 90 percent of Indonesia’s cocoa output is produced by smallholders who lack the financial means to optimize production capacity, resulting in declining productions due to aging trees, diseases, floods and such. Consequently, many farmers shifted production to crops such as corn, rubber or palm oil.

Saving the Chocolate

While Mars Wrigley, Mondelez International, Nestle and other confectionery, food and beverage companies dedicated sustainability efforts aimed at saving chocolate; GroYield is teaming up with Indonesia Coffee and Cacao Research Institute (ICCRI) for R&D collaboration.

With GroYield continuous success in nourishing especially rubber plantations, the company strives to customize a formula to optimize the health and maintain the conditions of cacao to make plants more resistant to viral and fungal disease.

Memorandum of understanding is being developed between ICCRI and PT GYM Indo Jaya on implementing a collaboration research in the topic “Improving cocoa and coffee productivity through inducing plants performance using growth enhancer technology”. Field testing activities in the farm level have begun earlier in Q3 this year, to optimize the effectiveness of GroYield therapeutic nutrition for cocoa plants.

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