Sugar & Steam

Increasing efficiency in production systems for climate-adaptive forestry in Indonesia

Sugar and steam is a research project of the professorship Management of Forested Landscapes.

The issue

Small organic coconut producers in Kulon Progo have a consistently low productivity. Subsistence farming, and therefore poverty, are common as a result of poor land management, the absence of climate-smart agriculture, and more extreme weather events. Faced with the growing international demand for alternative natural sweeteners, the company Aliet Green wants to turn the tide by working with farmers from the Kokap district in Kulon Progo.

The project

The aim of the Sugar & Steam project is to improve the incomes, productivity and climate resilience of 2,000 farmers by integrating the circular value chain and introducing appropriate on-farm practices and technologies. This will entail better working conditions and ethical working procedures throughout the value chain. Gender-sensitive planning and mainstreaming is an overarching priority of the project. Climate-adaptive good agricultural practices will be developed and tested. Farmers will be trained in adaptive farming methods, which will be developed and validated through participatory research on farms. The project will also deliver materials for the dissemination of knowledge and innovation.


Innovative, climate-adaptative, on-farm technologies as part of a sustainable and profitable model for farmers. There has been a 20% increase in productivity among the participating farmers, who adhere to the principles of organic farming and whose value chain is part of the circular economy. Farmers have guaranteed capacity in diversified production systems and have higher and secure incomes through fair and transparent contract agreements. Participating households are recognising the benefits of improved soil and water management. The district is seeing a 2600 FTE increase in additional work, and women are having a greater influence on political decision-making. The value chain in the area ensures a) a safe and climate-resilient supply of raw materials and (b) the necessary structures before and after the harvest.

Professor: Eurídice Leyequién Abarca, Management of Forested Landscapes
Project duration: 2019 – 2023
Public funding: 512,300 euros
Budget consortium: 514,060 euros
Project partners: Aliet Green BV, Aidenvironment, Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture

This Sugar & Steam project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the SDGP Partnership Facility.