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Cashew Farmers Training in South Sulawesi

19 February 2020

Cashew Farmers Training in South Sulawesi
In the plantation sector, the main commodities produced by Selayar Islands are Coconut, Cashew, Candlenut, Nutmeg and Canarium Nut. One of those five commodities that are quite prospective for farmer is cashew. However based on surveys report, cashew production in Selayar Island has decreased each year due to the lack of knowledge and assistance to the farmers about good agriculture practice of cashew.
Plantations Team of PT Comextra Majora (Comextra) were recently visited some areas in Selayar Island i.e. Desa Bonto Matene, Desa Onto, Desa Tanete, Desa Bonto Numpa, Manarai Island, Desa Bontosikuyu, Desa Batu Bingkung, Desa Majapahit, Desa Telu Kampe, Desa Kayu Bauk and Desa Kaloroi. During the visit we found that in 2019 cashew crops has decreased approximately 60% due to the long dry season. Another factor that also affects the declining of the crops is plant spacing and no pruning applied to the cashew plants.
In addition to the Selayar Islands, the Comextra Plantation Team also visited some other areas in South Sulawesi i.e. Bantaeng, Jeneponto, Gowa, Bulukumba, Sinjai and Bone. Comextra Plantations Team held farmers meetings to brief them about the good agriculture practice of cashew and also provide hands-on training in cashew plantation.
Training materials include:
- Cashew seedlings, how to select superior local seeds to be used as seedlings for top grafting.
- Top grafting and side grafting.
- Pruning.
- How to make organic fertilizer.
- Planting spaces.
- How to control pests and diseases.
- Intercropping plants.
Due to the lack of knowledge of good agriculture practice of cashew, in several areas farmers were still objected to prune their cashew plantations because they were worried it would reduce the crops. Therefore, the existence of a pilot garden will be very helpful to show to the farmers that by applying good agriculture practice, would also maximized the crops, both  in quality and quantity.
In some villages that visited by Comextra Plantation Team, farmers plans to make a pilot plantation and demonstration plots, i.e. Desa Bontosikunyo plans to open ± 8 Ha of pilot plantations, Desa Bingkung Village 1 Ha and Desa Telu Kampe plans to make Demoplot  of cashew and cocoa for approximately 11 hectares.
The farmers are really appreciated and very grateful for Comextra Plantation Team visit because according to the farmers,  PT   Comextra Majora is a company willing to directly goes into the field to fostering, guiding and train farmers. Four Village head in Bontomatene Subdistrict asked Comextra Plantations team to train farmer about seedlings and pruning techniques because they plan to promote cashew plantings throughout the Bontomatene as a superior crop. It has also been planned to open cashew plantation that certified by the government of Selayar, in collaboration with PT Comextra Majora as Cashew Processing Plant and Builder of Sustainable Independent Farmer.