Farmers can share their experience on development of cocoa chain.
Last November 11-13, 2013, Cocoa farmers in Polewali Mandar (Polman), West Sulawesi, organized a Sustainable Cocoa Festival at Pussui Village, Sub District Luyo. The festival served as a space where farmers can share their knowledge and experience as well as inform stakeholders on issues related to cocoa.
As much as 6 Farmers’ Organizations at the level of Sub District, 48 farmer groups and 420 farmers attended the festival. Farmers Organizations from East Luwu, South Sulawesi also participated along with government officials from Office of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Food Crops, Office of Forestry, Office of Cooperative and Small Middle Industry and Head of Sub District Luyo as well as several Head of Village in the sub district.
The Festival of Sustainable Cocoa invited few sponsors including Armajaro, Mars, Bumi Surya, Petrosida Gresik, Syngenta, Kresna Bumitama Sejati and District Government of Polewali Mandar.
The people of Polewali Mandar celebrated Sustainable Cocoa in a form of camp of farmers completed with varieties of games and competition. The festival included skill competition, contest of healthy garden, contests among farmers’ organizations and various games. Field Facilitator acted as the judge at the garden contest. This contest is special as it was started at the beginning of the year until the day of the festival with continuous monitoring of the participants.
There were also many other games related to development of sustainable cocoa including contest on side grafting and chupon grafting. Team from Sub District Tapango won the competition. They earned a couple of goat, trophy, and money. They were also crowned as All-Around Champion of the Festival of Sustainable Cocoa 2013.
The festival was facilitated by Wahana Sukses Pertanian Terpandang (Wasiat), and NGO supporting farmers in Polman and the outskirts. Wasiat also support farmers from District of East Luwu and North Luwu in South Sulawesi, District of Parigi Moutong in Central Sulawesi and District of Mamasa in West Sulawesi. VECO Indonesia also participated on the festival.
In his opening speech, VECO Indonesia Field Coordinator, Peni Agustiyanto reiterated that the festival is successful despite of several shortcomings. The success is a way forward for farmers in Polman as they have move further compare to farmers in other areas supported by VECO Indonesia.
“Throughout the festival, we are witnessing a great collaboration between farmers, NGO, government and private sectors,” said Peni Agustiyanto. [Parmansyah, Head of Division at Office of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, District of Mamasa, West Sulawesi]