Jakarta (Indonesia), 26 April 2019 – The third workshops of the day intensively discussed two topics; access to finance and access to market, in relation to strengthening farmer groups. Presenting in the beginning of the session was the Deputy Head of Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, Musdalifah, on government’s role to support coffee seedlings for farmers.
Attended by 28 participants from members, partners, and stakeholders, the workshop welcomed the attendance of resource persons such as Mr. Adrian Bolliger (Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung – HNRS), Mr. Dwiyono Bayu Winantio (BTPN Syariah), Mr. Wagianto (PT. IndoCapco), Mr. Absardi (MPKG Aceh Gayo), Ms. Musdhalifah Machmud (Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs), moderated by: Mr. Indradi Soemardjan (Javanero), and minutes of meeting is provided by Ms. Intan Savitri Wahyoe.
Gayo Coffee Protection Society presented their views on what it takes to strengthen farmer groups to leverage their bargaining position that benefit farmers economically and socially. The society highlights collaboration with local government of Aceh in initiating coffee research, revitalizing coffee farms, capacity building for both farmers and local collectors, the strengthening of cooperative, increasing access to micro finance, initiating discussion on infrastructure rehabilitation with government, encouraging pro-farmers regulations and increasing added value in coffee.
The society plays a vital role in bridging the needs of smallholders and government resources, as evidential, the government has increase allocation from regional and national budget to support coffee culture in the province. The society believes that this kind of forum is proven to be beneficial for smallholders particularly in its ability to help channel priorities and ensure monitoring of funds allocation. It hopes the forum model could be something other regions could apply and benefit from.
One of SCOPI’s members, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, in short HRNS, shared their approaches in strengthening farmer organizations through providing access to training, market, increasing potentials for collaboration and providing access to financial support. These four pillars are believed to be key in achieving the goal of thriving coffee farmer groups.
Focusing more on financial support, another key enabler towards farmer groups strengthening, BTPN Syariah, shared its evolving concept of their farmer-based clientele. BTPN believes that the term bankable should be fluid, instead of waiting for farmers to be bankable, financial institutions could modify their services to be more inclusive and could play a significant role in making the farmers bankable. The service could start from there and then BTPN initiated a three-year plus phased program that from the outlook shows promising commitment from the bank towards the development of farming community. We are very hopeful with how financial institutions have started pulling new innovations that center around inclusiveness.
Strengthening Farmer Organisations workshop provided the following recommendation/action plan:
- How SCOPI can become an enabling agent that can create a roadmap by paying attention on aspects of social control, where SCOPI can play its role as a convener.
We look forward for more developments on this.