Elevating the Kerinci coffee: A story of a young farmer

Elevating the Kerinci coffee: A story of a young farmer

12/08/2020
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Gabriella Cynthia Andries
Gabriella Cynthia Andries
Communication Coordinator
+62 811-3820-9576

Triyono spends most of his days doing the things he enjoys most, performing cupping tests to ensure the coffee beans produced from his cooperative has a consistent and exceptional quality. In 2012, Triyono sold vegetables and chickens for his income. Now, he is the Chairman of the Koerintji Barokah Bersama Cooperative, an award-winning coffee farmers' organization with 320 members in Kerinci, Jambi Province.

"For me, knowledge is the most important thing. Facilities can come next. I wanted to join the Rikolto coffee program because I want to learn."

Triyono Chairman of Koerintji Barokah Bersama Cooperative

From conversations with fellow Rikolto team members who have worked alongside Triyono and having spoken to him directly, it is clear that he is a force to be reckoned with. Before becoming Rikolto's partner, Triyono started his journey in the agricultural sector as a horticulture farmer.

"With horticulture, I had to plant, harvest, and plant again. But with coffee, I can plant once and reap the benefits every two weeks. Coffee trees also don't use a lot of pesticides that harm the environment," said Triyono.

Aiming to have a steadier source of income, Triyono started to switch his focus from horticulture to coffee. Through Rikolto, Triyono began learning about coffee processing and marketing, and how he can further explore the potentials of Kerinci coffee.

"In less than six months after meeting him, I went back to Kerinci and saw that Triyono has already built a coffee processing facility in his backyard. This development could take years with other farmers. I quickly realized that he has the vigor and potential."

Peni Agustijanto Cocoa Sector Manager

Since established in June 2017, the Barokah Cooperative was able to grow exponentially under Triyono's leadership. Rikolto has been supporting the members of Barokah Cooperative through various capacity building activities, including coffee cultivation and processing, sustainable agricultural practices, as well as improving their business capacities and expanding their market access.

In their first year, the Barokah Cooperative won the first place at the Indonesian Specialty Coffee Contest in Jakarta. In 2018, they won second place on the same contest and was invited by the Indonesian Embassy to Hanoi, Vietnam for a coffee exhibition. The Barokah Cooperative also received the Bronze Gourmet at the Salon International de l'Agroalimentaire (SIAL) exhibition in Paris.

In addition to consistently produce award-winning coffees, in July 2020 - through the collaboration between Rikolto, government institutions, private sector, and financial institutions - the Barokah Cooperative was able to directly export 15,9 tons of Arabica Specialty coffee to Sucafina Specialty in Antwerp, Belgium. This month, the Barokah Cooperative will ship another 9,1 tons of coffee beans to Sucafina Australia.

With the growing success of Barokah, Triyono has become an inspiration for many young farmers striving to succeed in the coffee sector. This morning, in celebration of International Youth Day, Triyono was invited to speak at an online seminar held by Jambi Agricultural Training Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, to share his experience on how young farmers and organizations can enter the international coffee market.

It was Triyono's entrepreneurial spirit, his desire to keep learning, and the ability to share his knowledge and confidence with other farmers that made the Barokah Cooperative's specialty coffee well known throughout Indonesia and beyond. For Triyono, it is not enough to do business as usual. He continues to bring added values to the Kerinci Arabica Specialty coffee through innovative processing methods and sustainable practices.

When asked about his motivation, Triyono said enthusiastically: "It's not just about regular coffee. In the future, more people will be looking for high-quality coffee that is produced sustainably. That requires innovation, and youths are the key players in making this happen. If not us, then who else."

"It's not just about regular coffee. In the future, more people will be looking for high-quality coffee that is produced sustainably. That requires innovation, and youths are the key players in making this happen. If not us, then who else."

Triyono Chairman of Koerintji Barokah Bersama Cooperative

Triyono's story motivates us to continue strengthening the capacities of young farmers who are the driving force in ensuring food availability for all in the future. Empowered by knowledge and support, millennials can make a meaningful contribution to shaping a more sustainable food system.