Improving Cacao Farming and Unleashing Sago Potential in Papua

This project is managed by Kopernik Solutions and implemented by PT Kopernik on behalf of our client.

Following Kopernik’s Unmet Needs research in 2018, we are addressing the challenges faced by cacao and sago smallholder farmers in Papua.

Project Type

  • Lean Experimentation


Kopernik’s Unmet Needs Report 2018 found that while cacao and sago are among priority commodities in Papua, their potential remains untapped due to several issues faced by smallholder farmers. These issues include limited knowledge, skills, and tools in the post-harvest production process which lead to farmers producing low-quality cacao beans. Many smallholder farmers are also unable to conduct optimal fermentation and drying activities which further results in low-priced cacao beans.

In terms of sago, through the Unmet Needs Report 2018, we learned that the potential of the sago commodity is yet to be unleashed in Papua. Currently, sago plantations in the province lack effective cultivation management, product diversification, and access to a competitive market. Therefore, farmers currently have limited economical benefits from sago.


To address the challenges of cacao farmers and to enhance the quality of the beans, we will implement two solutions:

  • Equip farmers with knowledge of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) through intensive training, modules and video content, as well as train selected farmers to become future trainers for other farmers.
  • Support farmers in testing potential post-harvest solutions. We will combine processing technologies that include a solar dryer and a fermentation box to determine whether these tools can produce a higher standard of cacao and meet the premium buyers’ requirement.

For the sago sector, we will conduct a scoping study to better understand the current state of sago smallholder farmers practices, such as its challenges and untapped potential. The results of the study will provide us with more information on how to improve the sago value chain, which will be considered in the development of future interventions.


We expect that the overall project will strengthen the cacao farming sector and enhance the livelihoods of smallholders farmers in Papua. Combining the Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) training and promising post-harvest solutions, we expect to see farmers improving their beans quality, hence increasing their income and livelihood.

Through the sago scoping study, we expect to provide easy access to information on the sago value chain and eventually increase the sago farmers’ income.

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This project is managed by Kopernik Solutions and implemented by PT Kopernik on behalf of our client.