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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  25  May  2016  

ISEI, Kadin eye 1 million farmers to join sustainable agriculture scheme

The Indonesian Economist Association ( ISEI ) and the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( Kadin ) have drafted a new value-chain innovation scheme, PISAgro, targeted to improve the income of 1 million farmers in various commodity industries by 2020.

PISAgro, which stands for Partnership for Indonesia's Sustainable Agriculture, aims to reach more than 445,000 farmers in 2016 who manage more than 350,000 hectares of land. In 2015, only 83,000 farmers with areas of 67,000 ha participated.

ISEI chairman Muliaman Hadad said farmers were currently experiencing stagnant productivity from inadequate access to finance, as well as good quality seeds and fertilizers. PISAgro was designed to formulate an action plan and synergize institutions and stakeholders to solve the issues.

"Access to finance must be expanded. We thank the government for the micro loan program ( KUR ) for farmers, but other schemes must also be established. Financial inclusion should be expanded," Muliaman said at Balai Kartini in Jakarta on Monday.

Kadin Indonesia chairman Rosan Roeslani said farmers play an important role in the Indonesian economy, but encountered many obstacles in improving productivity and quality of their agricultural production.

According to him, the innovation scheme for the agricultural sector was a government-based micro loan program, KUR-Plus. It is a credit scheme for farmers with additional benefits such as the provision of living expenses during the harvest waiting period.

This program also would give support in plantation infrastructure, provision of seeds and fertilizers, mentoring and the strict implementation of good farming practices. Moreover, it would provide access to banking, financial education, and cooperatives, Rosan said.

The pilot project of this program had been successfully applied since 2011 in maize, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, rice, soybeans, potatoes, and rubber. Under the scheme, farmers’ productivity and income increased on average by 25 percent.

Kadin vice chairman of agribusiness, food and forestry Franky Widjaja said many farmers who need access to finance expect affordable loans to increase their productivity and well-being.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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