Visit TRACTIONS project of SDGP Facility in Bali, Indonesia

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) visited program sites of Sustainable Development Goals Partnership (SDGP) in Tabanan and Jembara Regency, Bali on 12-13 September 2022. Present at this visit representative from RVO, representative from Dutch Embassy in Indonesia, representatives from NGOs as the lead implementing consortium (Rainforest Alliance, Kalimajari, and Rikolto), French Chocolate Company Valrhona, and representatives from Tabanan and Jembara Regency government. 


Indonesia is the top cocoa producer in Asia (and sixth in the world as pf 2018) with an annual output of around 240,000 tonnes. While market demand for cocoa is booming, Indonesian production has fallen into decline in recent years. More than 95 percent of Indonesia’s cocoa is produced by smallholder farmers with 2 hectares of land or less. They live in extreme hardship, scraping a living from aging trees, while grappling with the impacts of climate change, and pests disease. As a result, both crop productivity and bean quality has dropped. 

Back in 2011, the Rainforest Alliance and local NGO Kalimajari launched a successful pilot program to help smallholders in Jembarana, Bali, improve their incomes through the production of high value fermented cocoa and better access to specialty markets. This pilot doubled the income of more than 600 smallholders and reduced rural unemployment rates.

The SDGP program called Transforming the Cocoa Sector in Indonesia Through Value Addition for Smallholders (TRACTIONS) project aims to scale up this success and to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of cocoa smallholder farming households in Bali, Sulawesi, and East Nusa Tenggara. Actions that are done to achieve such aim, among others, providing training on good agricultural practices, climate-smart agriculture training, and financial literacy and social inclusion, assisting farmers in developing community-led nurseries, establishing cocoa cooperative processing units (CCPUs), and new commercial partnerships. 

Despite the challenges, from 2020-2022, the project 3785 farmers directly reached with this program through training, technical assistant and business support, 14 demonstration plots has established, 2 cooperatives with 7 nurseries each, 13 CCPU established/supported with logistics and digital traceability, and 3044 hectares project area coverage across 7 district in 5 province are ongoing process to sustainably managed. 

The trip was very insightful, we visited the cocoa farms, processing units, visited several cooperatives and had discussions with the participants. We are very pleased to hear that the farmers really feel the benefits of the program. In addition, On Tuesday (13/9) Regent of Jembrana Bali and his team received us and shared with us his remarks on this project. 

Much appreciation for the efforts of Rainforest Alliance, Rikolto, Kalimajari, Valrhona, the farmers, the cooperatives, the Tabanan dan Jembrana Government and all those involved.

*The article written based on project report and the visit, and images courtesy of the consortium