In Aceh, this was a rainy season for the books. Only yesterday did the river communities in Aceh Timur locate the transport raft and re-connect it to the iron cable that snapped during heavy flooding this season, leaving many without access to markets, healthcare, or businesses. Life on the buffer of the rainforest is not for the faint of heart!
These drying racks have been extremely helpful—and as you can see, they are fairly simple contraptions. But the combination of air flow and helpful working height produces a far better quality bean with much less effort—provided it isn’t pouring cats and dogs.
But the waters are receding, the raft is working again, and the cocoa farmers in Simpang Jernih and Pante Kera are making up for lost time, spraying their surviving nursery trees to ward off diseases that could be caused by excess moisture.
These backpack sprayers have also been a godsend. JMD can usually raise money to distribute one per nursery but they really need 2, since the nurseries are getting so big. Anyone wishing to donate a backpack sprayer and organic pesticide to the women of Simpang Jernih for their nursery can visit JMD's website at http://jmd.or.id/join-us/ and contribute $50—that is all it takes to help keep 3,000 cocoa seedlings alive.
Robert was able to visit all of the farmers finally, and reports that while this harvest, being the tail end, is slim, it is still a 50% increase in last year’s production. Another bullet dodged in the heart of the jungle.