Agroforestry Coffee Farmer

Stay in a small village near the Sumatran jungle & assist with coffee nursery work and coffee plantation management in the Batang Gadis National Park.

About SRI

The Sumatra Rainforest Institute (SRI) is a grass-roots NGO that focuses on wildlife & rainforest conservation. One of SRI's programs is the Community Agroforestry Development Unit. This unit focuses on community development through agroforestry initiatives involving farmers who live around Batang Gadis National Park. It's projects provide the farmers with eco-friendly agriculture extension programs, conservation education and sustainable economic development solutions in North Sumatra. 

In conjunction with typical agroforestry outcomes, the Community Development Unit also aims to:

  • improve rainforest conservation awareness among local communities
  • enhance the protection of wildlife and rainforest through reforestation projects and plant species enrichment plantings
  • decrease human-wildlife conflicts around important key biodiversity landscapes
  • improve management of rainforest and wildlife protection with real actions and participation of multi-stakeholders in and around Batang Gadis National Park
  • provide alternative income for small-scale farmers in order to decrease the unsustainable use of forest resources and illegal wildlife poaching

About the Program

Coffee Agroforestry Volunteers (CAVO) is a volunteer program which places volunteers into a coffee agroforestry project set up by Sumatra Rainforest Institute (SRI) and local farmer groups. CAVO sees good environmental practice directly impacting upon the general well-being of farmers surrounding Batang Gadis National Park. The interconnection of humanity and the environment means that we need to focus on maintaining this precious relationship balance.

The CAVO is an important conservation mission and a green incentive for local communities to protect the wildlife & rainforest of Batang Gadis National Park in Sumatra. Coffee smallholders will be empowered by the sustainable development of arabica coffee using an agroforestry approach around the Batang Gadis National Park.

The project aims to improve the farmers income generation by increasing coffee productivity & quality. The better income generation will assist to reduce the farmers' involvement in illegal logging and poaching as well as strengthen the ecological value's surrounding Batang Gadis National Park.

Possible volunteer tasks

During the volunteering mission, the Volunteer will join SRI staff and local farmers in the area to increase the efficiency of agroforestry production in mountainous villages. The work may include:

  • Maintaining the Nurseries containing forest tree saplings for reforestation and coffee seedlings for agricultural production

  • Reforestation/plant species enrichment planting

  • Coffee planting

  • Compost production

  • Coffee bean roasting with Lopo Mandheling Coffee or community roasting facilitities

  • Barista assistant in Lopo Mandheling Cafe

  • Informal English lessons in village schools on occasion (if interested)

  • Forest Patrol

  • Other activities related the project (including harvesting)

Suitable for


Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
Letter of Motivation
Other Skills
- Passion for tree planting & nursery management
- Commitment to sustainable agriculture
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Patience
- Be able to live with limited services as you will live at a remote location.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 - 17:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Indonesia? Volunteer World directly connects you with Sumatra Rainforest Institute

Agroforestry Coffee Farmer Agroforestry Coffee Farmer Team meeting Day trip! Coffee plantation and day hut Community setting up coffee nursery Agroforestry Coffee Farmer Building a coffee nursery roof Coffee plantation Agroforestry Coffee Farmer A village coffee roasting machine Picnic on the river Panyabungan sunset Coffee seedlings Pruned coffee Rice paddies in the local area Chilling in a forest coffee planation Agroforestry Coffee Farmer A jungle trek

Free-time activities

The surrounding jungle in Batang Gadis National Park provides for activities such as hiking, short walks along village paths, bird watching, photography and swimming in creeks. There are also many waterfalls and hotsprings in the surrounding areas closer to Mount Sorik Merapi (volcano). SRI will be able to pick up the volunteer and bring them back to Panyabungan City for the weekend. The weekend period for the village based Agroforestry volunteer is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The volunteer might also be interested in visiting Bukittinggi (West Sumatra), the islands near Padang (west Sumatra), Bukit Lawang to see the wild orangutan or Lake Toba before or after the assignment is finished.



What's included?
The fees include accomodation in a host family or a dorm room, food & drink and airport pickup.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

Our staff will pick up you up from Aek Godang Airport (AEG) near Padangsidimpuan or Dr Ferdinand Lumban Tobing Airport (FLZ) in Pinangsori. Both airports are in North Sumatra province with flights from Medan. The Pinangsori airport (FLZ) also has flights from Jakarta. Car hire and transport is available from Padang but will need to be covered by the volunteer (8 hour drive to Panyabungan).
SRI will also provide transport to and from the project site from Panyabungan. The base for the assignment is in Panyabungan where SRI's office is.


You will with a host family or in a dorm room in the mountainous rural villages. Both are simple types of local accommodation, but we always select the best available options for our volunteers.

Dorm Room Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Food is provided from Monday to Thursday during placement with a host family or in a dorm room at the project site. The food provided will be local Indonesian rural meals. Fish and chicken are the base of many dishes, along with tofu and tempeh. But vegetarian food can be catered too if you tell us bevor. Food is generally spiced with chilli. Rice is the staple served with most meals. Drinks are usually served hot such as coffee and tea. No dairy products are available in the area (UHT milk is available in some shops and so is processed cheese, some vendors sell brand ice cream such as Magnum). No alcohol will be present in the villages and nor should it be taken in for consumption. During the weekend (Friday to Sunday) you will be responsible for buying their own food.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
11 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Panyabungan/Indonesia between 4 weeks and 11 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Sumatra Rainforest Institute will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Sumatra Rainforest Institute during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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What's next?

The nearest airport is Aek Godang (AEG) in Aek Godang. We assist you to find cheap flights to Indonesia.
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Jl Bakti Abri No.34, -, 22913 Panyabungan, Indonesia