WEA Women in Action

Sumilia Sumilia

Profile photo

Region

Aceh, Indonesia

Affiliations & Roles

Coordinator for Swisscontact

Community Developer in Agriculture

Facilitator of the Farmer Field School Method

Conservationist

Educator

 

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 implemented various activities such as demonstrating good farming practices, transferring technologies, promoting climate-smart agriculture, building farmer organizations, and contributing to community development with the support of Swisscontact. This was implemented using 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.  

Sumilia studied at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and just received her master’s degree in agriculture from Andalas University in Padang.

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