Indonesian cocoa growers in Cargill’s extensive network are eager to expand their use of this effective, farmer-friendly solution that reduces the need for synthetic pesticides.
Pictured: Healthy cocoa beans from a pod treated with Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® product are contrasted with (right) damaged beans from a pod treated with conventional grower-standard insecticides (thiamethoxam, lambdacyhalothrin, and chlorpyrifos). (Photo: Business Wire.)
SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields, has successfully completed an initial field demonstration pilot with Cargill to validate the effectiveness of its sustainable technology for yield enhancement. The conclusion of this demonstration pilot is an important step for Cargill — one of the world’s largest cocoa processors — towards attaining its sustainability objectives defined in the Cargill Cocoa Promise, and confirms excitement by cocoa growers for an effective solution to their long-standing production challenges.
“CropCoat saved these growers both time and energy by requiring far fewer applications compared with conventional insecticide treatments. In addition to the potential for prosperity that this new approach offers, it meets grower and consumer desire for sustainable farming practices.”
The demonstration was conducted with leading cocoa growers in Cargill’s grower network in Sulawesi, Indonesia, a primary producing region in the largest Asian cocoa production geography (consisting of 1.5 million hectares) for this key ingredient of cocoa and chocolate. Over the course of two crop seasons, the pilot established that Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® technology enables growers to mitigate the use of synthetic chemical pesticides and reduce farm labor required for agrochemical spray applications – key economic and sustainability drivers for the cocoa industry.
Based on positive grower experiences and feedback during the trials, Crop Enhancement and Cargill are defining next steps to scale the engagement in order to introduce the use of CropCoat to its larger grower base in Indonesia.
“The demo farmers with whom we worked reported that CropCoat improved the health of cocoa pods and transformed how they farm cocoa,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “CropCoat saved these growers both time and energy by requiring far fewer applications compared with conventional insecticide treatments. In addition to the potential for prosperity that this new approach offers, it meets grower and consumer desire for sustainable farming practices.”
“This effective solution helps Indonesian cocoa growers improve productivity of their farms as well as supports farmer livelihood, which is why our collaboration with Crop Enhancement is so important,” said Niels Boetje, managing director Asia Pacific, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “This successful demonstration builds on Cargill’s long-term commitment to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities. At the same time, it will help us to secure a long-term supply of quality cocoa for our business.”
Beyond yield and profit increase, CropCoat delivers to growers the added benefits of requiring fewer spray applications, having a strong worker health and safety profile, and enabling sustainable integrated pest management (IPM).
Crop Enhancement’s products target major fruit and vegetable crops worldwide across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, and Africa. To boost crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases while reducing the need for synthetic pesticides or pesticide applications. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs such as nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to reduce costs and increase crop yields.
Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries who work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial, and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture. For more information, visit www.cargill.com and our News Center.
About Cargill in Indonesia
Cargill began doing business in Indonesia in 1974 by establishing a feed mill in Bogor, West Java. Today, Cargill is headquartered in Jakarta and has more than 20,000 employees. We have 60 locations with offices, manufacturing plants and facilities throughout the country and business activities comprise animal nutrition, cocoa, copra, processed food exporting, grain and oilseeds, palm oil, and sweeteners. For further information please visit www.cargill.co.id.
About the Cargill Cocoa Promise
The Cargill Cocoa Promise launched in 2012 to align efforts in origin countries. It is Cargill’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers and communities in a holistic way that will secure a thriving sector for generations to come. The origin countries include Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia.
About Crop Enhancement
Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in San Jose, California. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly products to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.