Farmer Business School of Coffee+ Project: Improving Smallholder Coffee Farming Systems in Southeast Asia

Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand have a long history of coffee growing but their production levels have been declining or stagnating in recent years. At the same time, local demand for coffee and its consumption are growing in the region. Smallholders as the most producers have little access to new know-how and services. They use farm inputs in a limited way, adopt entrepreneurial knowledge and good agricultural practices very slowly. Faced with fluctuating agricultural prices, diversify products and plant several crops including coffee could be more saver for farmers. However, Information on how to best diversify agricultural production in a sustainable way is not commonly available.  

Nestlé and GIZ have joined forces in a development partnership supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in order to address the challenges through Coffee+ Project, implemented in those three countries. Nestlé has been offering agricultural advisory services to farmers for decades and established local farmers’ networks, meanwhile GIZ adds its expertise in training smallholders on farm management to enhance their business skills and its experiences in strengthening farmer groups and organisations. 

Farmer Business School (FBS) is one of the project’s activity to improve business skills and management of smallholder coffee growers. GIZ provide training specifically designed to increase entrepreneurship and farmers’ abilities to manage their farms as small business. The smallholders will learn how to optimise production costs and improve their incomes.  FBS module was developed to support the training which has been applied for 350.000 smallholders in cocoa regions in West and Central Africa, now being applied in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand to reach 10,500 smallholder coffee farmers in total. The module consists of 12 sub-modules series, covering basic farming planning, manage farm for enough and good quality food, money in-money out, farmer organization, potential additional income until becoming an entrepreneur in practice.

The FBS module has been introduced in Agricultural Development Polytechnics (POLBANGTAN) Bogor – Indonesia through a joint workshop as part of upscaling activities of the project as well as the implementation of MoU between Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and GIZ Business Hub Indonesia. The lecturer as workshop participants considered the FBS module is well developed with holistic structure and they were interested to adjust with their curriculum in the future.

The Farmer Business School (FBS) Module in Indonesia can be downloaded: