Toraja Coffee Plantation

Posted on 26/01/2024

For a long time, Toraja Coffee has been one of the best coffees in Indonesia. Its high popularity makes Toraja Coffee highly sought after by fans not only from Indonesia but also from abroad.


Arabica coffee plantations have existed in Toraja since the 16th century when it was introduced by people from the Gowa Kingdom who obtained it from Arab traders. Since then, the coffee trade in South Sumatra has grown rapidly, leading to a war to monopolize the Toraja black pearl trade.


Ups and downs then hit the growth of coffee plantations in Toraja starting from attacks by leaf rust disease which destroyed Arabica coffee plants, the emergence of Robusta coffee which was introduced by the Dutch and was successful in replacing Arabica, the decline of trade due to the issue of disease caused by drinking coffee, neglected during the war and after independence, the return to development. Arabica coffee plantations, and delays in coffee distribution during the DI/TII rebellion era. Now Toraja Arabica coffee plantations have revived and produced thousands of tons of coffee, most of which is exported abroad.


Indonesia will become the 3rd largest coffee-producing country in the world in 2022, behind Brazil and Vietnam. Indonesian coffee production reached 794,800 tonnes that year, an increase of 1.1% compared to the previous year. Most Indonesian coffee products, both Arabica and Robusta, are exported to several countries, including the United States (54,487 tonnes), Malaysia (38,551 tonnes), Egypt (32,539 tonnes), Japan (23,484 tonnes), Germany (21,322 tonnes), Italy (27,237 tonnes). tons), England (21,349 tons), Belgium (14,758 tons), Russia (24,182 tons), and India (19,997 tons). 98.01% of coffee is sent as an export commodity in the form of green beans or dry beans that have not been fried.


Coffee plantations in Indonesia in 2022 will have an area of 1.29 million hectares (ha). In terms of management, the majority of coffee plantations in Indonesia are owned by the people, namely an area of 1.26 ha. Meanwhile, the area of large-scale coffee plantations managed by the state and private companies is 23,200 ha. Of that number, South Sulawesi contributes the largest coffee plantations, namely 268,000 ha. This position is followed by Lampung and Aceh with coffee plantation areas of 156,500 ha and 126,600 ha, respectively.


The area of coffee plantations in Tana Toraja itself is 10,772 ha with Bittuang District having the largest coffee plantation at 1,654 ha, followed by Gandangbatu Sillanan District and Mengkendek District with areas of 1,597 ha and 970 ha respectively. Of the 19 sub-districts in Tana Toraja Regency, all of them have coffee plantations with varying areas. Of the coffee plantation area, the Tana Toraja coffee harvest will be 3,567.82 tons in 2022.


For North Toraja Regency, the area of its coffee plantations is 11,235.8 ha. The area with the largest coffee plantations is in Buntu Pepasan District, namely 2,110 ha. The North Toraja coffee harvest is 7,888 tons based on 2021 data.


Coffee plantations in Toraja are actually supported by supportive natural conditions, such as locations in the mountains with an altitude of 1,000-2,500 meters above sea level and average temperatures ranging between 15° C - 28° C with air humidity between 82 - 86%, average rainfall an average of 1500 mm/year to more than 3500 mm/year. Arabica coffee plants will thrive in the conditions mentioned.


Good coffee plant growth is not always directly proportional to harvest productivity. This is a problem in Toraja coffee plantations. There are several factors that cause the low production of Toraja coffee. Because most of the coffee plantations in Toraja are smallholder plantations, the production process, both harvest and post-harvest, is still traditional. The condition of plantations on steep slopes also means that the harvesting process cannot take place quickly and simultaneously. Peeling the cherry skin and washing it is done manually with simple tools. The drying process is also carried out depending on natural conditions. This is what causes Toraja Coffee production to be limited and the price to be high.


With the high demand for Toraja Coffee, it is hoped that the authorities can provide assistance to coffee farmers to get a more decent income from one of Indonesia's best coffees. Farmers' needs such as training and counseling as well as production facilities (seeds, pesticides, etc.), and policies that can help farmers, are sought to increase the productivity of coffee farmers so they can sell their coffee beans at competitive prices.


The Sulotco Jaya Abadi coffee plantation also collaborates with farmer partners and local communities to cultivate the plantation. Sulotco manages plantations using a profit-sharing system with the company first meeting the farmers' production input needs. It is hoped that with this system, coffee farmers will get more results and become more prosperous. It is hoped that the enjoyment of Toraja Coffee will not only bring happiness to its drinkers but also bring smiles to those producing it upstream.

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