With this and many other far-reaching attempts to make cocoa a major commodity in the province, it is a mystery why this important and sustainable resource is taking a back seat (and is sometimes still pushed out of the car) by agribusiness that contributes to deforestation and poverty in the province. As recently as July 2013 a “Cocoa Day” was held in Banda Aceh, opened by the Provincial Governor himself. With representation by all the agriculture and commodities ministries, the 2-day event stressed the importance of supporting good and integrated cocoa farming in Aceh that will result in a healthy relationship between growers and buyers, a large and more stable crop, and economic strength for the province.
I’d like to find out more about this conference, if anything concrete ever came out of it, and whether the governor or any ministers talked about needing to preserve traditional farmlands so that cocoa farmers would actually have places to farm.
On the web in Bahasa at: