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Swisscontact and the University of Sydney Using Social Network Analysis to the benefit of the Sulawesi Cocoa Supply Chain

A sustainable cocoa supply chain starts with the farmer. Since 2015, Swisscontact has been working together with Cargill Cocoa to standardize the practice of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) amongst thousands of farmers in Indonesia. However, data and experience show that relatively few farmers adopt GAP immediately - only about 15% of the farmers trained implement the complete set of GAP within a year.

Research shows that informal social networks play a key role in facilitating adoption of GAP at the farmer level. Enhancing these networks has the potential to boost adoption rates by 30-50% over current levels within one year. This led Swisscontact in 2018 to team up with the University of Sydney to use Social Network Analysis (SNA) techniques to understand farmer networks. The aim is to reveal how cocoa farmers share information and innovations amongst themselves. Dr. Petr Matous from Sydney has been the principal advisor and collaborator on Swisscontact’s efforts to apply network analysis tools.


During the first phase, Swisscontact’s Sustainable Cocoa Production Program (SCPP) and Dr. Matous were able to develop, test, and validate the tools on 12,000 cocoa growers in Sulawesi. “This survey has produced the largest SNA data set of farmers known to date. This great initial result allows us to apply advanced tools of network analysis and inform the management of development programs to support farmers’ performance and livelihoods as well as environmental sustainability in a way that has not been possible until now, which is really exciting” said Dr. Matous. Emboldened by a successful testing phase, SCPP and the University of Sydney decided that intensive planning and design meetings were needed.


With a support from Sydney South-East Asia Centre, a team from SCPP (Project Director Rini Christina, Ross Jaax, Hiswaty Hafid, Rina Islamiyati, and Bahran Basiyran) visited Sydney from April 29 to May 3 to work closely with Dr. Matous and his team Dr. Yasuyuki Todo, Yuzuka Kashiwagi and Abner Yalu. In addition to working with Dr. Matous, the team also met with University of Sydney researchers that are working on cocoa related issues in Indonesia to discuss their research and additional collaboration. They included Dr. Russ Toth and Jeffrey Neilson (economics), Dr. Merrilyn Walton (human health), Dr. Budiman Minasny (soil science) and David Guest (plant pathologist).


The result of the week’s workshop meetings was updated and refined data collection design that is scheduled to be officially rolled out in mid-2019. The data and its analysis will improve training and service delivery results to over 25,000 cocoa farmers Cargill’s cocoa supply networks.  This is aimed at boosting cocoa farmer productivity and profitability, and thereby the supply of high quality, certified cocoa exported from Indonesia—all in the effort to improve farmers’ livelihoods.


Further information please contact:

Christina Rini 

Program Director Sustainable Cocoa Production Program/ SCPP


Media Release Indonesia Cocoa Media Release