Press Releases

• August 17, 2010 - Novelle Consulting Launches New Website
• August 16, 2010 - Erich Hinrichs and John Musser Join Novelle Consulting
• August 1, 2006 - Novelle Principal Awarded Presidential Volunteer Service Award
• December 20, 2005- Sonora State, Mexico Completes Phase I of Development Plan
• April 26, 2005 - PMA Addresses Consumption, Industry Trends with Retailers, Growers in Mexico
• April 18, 2005 - Novelle Assists State of Sonora in Five Year Plan
• June 3, 2004 - BC Hot House Chairman Al Vangelos Elected Russian Farm Project's Chairman of the Board

Novelle in the media

• April 22, 2009, The Packer - Vangelos named Produce Man for All Seasons
• April 10, 2006, The Produce News - Novelle Takes on Winogrond and Obregon as Two Senior Principals
• April 6, 2006, FreshPlaza - Novelle Adds Two New Senior Principals; Obregon and Winogrond
• July, 2005, Productores de Hortalizas - Agronegocios en Sonora
• May 1, 2005, The Produce News - Symposium Shines Spotlight on Sonora Agriculture

on the move

Novelle and Food Safety in Southeast Asia
Novelle and the Gates Foundation
Novelle and the World Bank in Malaysia
Novelle in Southern Sudan
Novelle in Georgia
Novelle in Indonesia
Novelle in Egypt
Novelle in Guatemala
Novelle in Central America
Novelle Consulting in Zambia
Novelle Consulting in the Balkans
Novelle's Indonesian Assignment
Novelle in Southern Africa
Novelle in former Soviet Union
Novelle and Work in Colombia
Bananas in Bangladesh
Vegetables in Moldova
Packing Plant in Moldova
Quality Control in Moldova

white papers

Fairtrade
Novelle Consulting and EUREPGAP
Moscow Supermarket Industry
The 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan for Sonora, Mexico
Marketing of Horticultural Produce in Asia-From Sonora Symposium

News


Novelle Consulting’s Indonesian Assignment

For most people involved in the world of commercial tropical agriculture, bananas represent extensive plantations, where thousands of highly trained employees produce the millions of boxes of fruit that leave the tropics every week and sail on refrigerated vessels to the northern markets. However, to the very small farmers of western Java in Indonesia, bananas are just one part of a diverse agricultural environment, and for most of these farmers, their largest source if cash income.

In May of 2004, Henry (Win) Winogrond, a Novelle principal, spent three weeks in this area, training the local farmers in improved methods of producing, harvesting, transporting, and ripening their bananas. The project was sponsored by ICRAF (the international Center for Research in Agroforestry) and Winrock International, an international consulting agency based in Morrilton, AR.

The island of Java is the most densely populated piece of land in the world, with over 110,000,000 people in an area approximately the size of the state of New York. The work was based in Bogor, a city of nearly 1,000,000 people located a few hours outside of the capital of Jakarta, itself a city of 8-10,000,000. The project was focused on very small farmers, with their land holdings averaging 1.0-1.5 acres. They planted a mixture of crops on this land, for both home consumption and local sale. The largest portion of the land would be dedicated to a food staple, like paddy rice, cassava, or taro, and the balance would be in a mixture of 4-6 different tropical fruit trees, papayas, coffee, bamboo, some trees for timber, and then bananas planted on the edges of the land and on the dikes of the paddies. It is due to this intense population density, and the proximity of these very small farmers to large markets, that their bananas have such a relatively high commercial value. The average farmer had 30-50 banana plants on his property.

The first week of the project was spent in visiting a great number of the farmers, in order to determine their agricultural practices, the time that was available to work on the bananas, and their ability to invest in their farms. (It quickly became evident that the farmers were following essentially no defined practices, and there were no cash inputs contributed to the crops.) Then additional time was spent interviewing the local banana buyers, who also were involved in the very basic local ripening systems. At this point, a sense of the entire local supply chain could be developed.

Finally, field training sessions were held for various local farmers’ associations. Recommendations were made to the farmers for practices that would allow them to increase their productivity, thereby increasing their annual cash income. The recommendations were focused initially on changes that would require little or no investment, other than labor, such as changes in banana varieties, pruning practices, deleafing, and harvesting. In addition, the ICRAF/Winrock group will assist the farmers by financing the purchase of polyethylene bags, so that they can begin bagging the fruit in the field. In addition, as all of the fruit is currently transported via whole stems being thrown in the backs of small pickups, assistance will be provided in the form of the purchase of suitable plastic crates that can be used to implement dehanding in the field and the transportation of the fruit to the marketplace in crates. To support and verify the effectiveness of these changes, a basic quality control system will be provided to the associations on a subsequent trip. Contacts were also made with the local university, and assistance will be given to their existing banana variety and fertilizer trials. In addition, the financing and implementation of a modern banana ripening room has been proposed for a subsequent trip.

This program was part of the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program that has financed the trips of thousands of U.S. citizens with extensive agricultural experience, and has allowed them to provide the benefit of this experience to small farmers all over the world.