Mars aims to Support 9,000 Cocoa Farmers in Indonesia on a Path to aSustainable Living Income by 2030

PT Mars Symbioscience Indonesia to tackle income inequities in cocoa farming with support from network of partners including USAID and I4DI

Indonesia (April 22, 2022) – PT Mars Symbioscience Indonesia, one of the business unit of Mars Incorporated, a maker of chocolate for more than 100 years, today announced neweffort to improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers through a four-year (2022-2026) program to enhance evidence-based agroforestry practices in Indonesia, the Advancing Cocoa Agroforestry Towards Income, Value, and Environmental Sustainability – ACTIVE Program.

Working with a network of leading organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Institute for Development Impact (I4DI), Mars will embark on this effort designed to address persistent barriers to cocoa farmers’ ability to achieve a living income. This alliance of collaborating partners aims to promote cocoa agroforestry practices that address both climate change mitigation and adaptation, while improving smallholder farmer livelihoods. Mars, USAID, and I4DI co-designed ACTIVE with the aim of providing farmers with access to appropriate technologies, market infrastructure and improved financing. ACTIVE builds on evidence gathered by Mars and I4DI over a six-year period and is expected to equip farmers and their families with alternative business models and take promising practices to scale for improved climate resilience and household incomes.

“In partnership with USAID and I4DI, we will test and learn to identify which approaches are most effective in setting farmers on the path toward a sustainable, living income and facilitating a more diverse cocoa ecosystem,” said Fay Fay Choo, Asia Cocoa Director. “Our goal is to be able to use these learnings to inform and create a blueprint that can be scaled to its entire supply chain for long-lasting, systemic change.”

In its implementation, ACTIVE will carry out capacity building of 9,000 cocoa farmers in North Luwu and East Luwu Districts, South Sulawesi Province, and in North Kolaka Regency, Southeast Sulawesi Province. ACTIVE will collaborate with researchers, market players (private sector), associations, local governments, agroforestry programs, and other key stakeholders both at the local as well as at the national level to produce a sustainable impact.

Government agencies will be involved in the implementation of ACTIVE include, the Ministry of Planning and Development (Bappenas), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the South Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi Province, East Luwu Regency, North Luwu Regency, and North Kolaka Regency.

ACTIVE Program Snapshot

Collaborating Partners: USAID, I4DI

Duration: 4 years

Reach: 9,000 farmers

Impact Ambition: Projected to increase income of participating farmers by up to 15% over four years and reduce by 20% the number of participating farmers living below the living income benchmark.

Innovation Focus:

  • Equipping farmers to deploy scalable and evidence-based agroforestry systems to strengthen biodiversity and improve cocoa production
  • Facilitating a more diversified cocoa-farming ecosystem through recommending viable short-term and long-term crops, helping farmers acquire knowledge and tools to support these diversified crops, and working with local government, trade, and the private sector to facilitate a market to offer alternative income sources
  • Supporting financial inclusion and enabling farmers’access to digital financing and crop insurance solutions tohelp finance the shift towards a diversified cocoa-farming ecosystem
  • Convening a diversified group of key government,industry, and farmer groups to help create the market and regulatory conditions necessary for diversified cocoa-farming ecosystems to succeed
  • Implementing community-led approaches to foster socially and environmentally sustainable cocoa farming