WEA Women in Action
Affiliations & Roles
Community Developer for Regenerative and Organic Cocoa Projects
Facilitator of the Farmer Field School Method
Farmer & Farm Community Organizer
Indonesia is the third largest cocoa producing country in the world, yet there are many constraints for cocoa farmers. The main problems are pests and diseases, as well as unsustainable farming methods which are major issues because farming is the main source of livelihood for the local communities. To solve these problems, Sumilia implements sustainable farming practices and new technologies in grafting and agro-forestry. As an ethno-botonist, she preserves local plants while promoting climate-smart agriculture, builds farm organizations, and contributes to sustainable community development. Sumilia uses the Farmer Field School method, an approach where farmers can communicate with each other easily by practicing and discussing the problems they encounter. As the facilitator, Sumilia’s role is to teach farmers how to apply the techniques they learned on their own farms in order to reduce the amount of chemicals they use and to apply climate-smart agriculture to conserve local fruit trees and maintain biodiversity.
Based on annual monitoring, 50% of farmers who implemented the good farming practices significantly increased their production and the number of pests and diseases decreased which produced higher quality cacao beans.