VECO Indonesia and stakeholders in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara have built a commitment to improve the welfare of family farmers.
They have done this because the stakeholders realise that the welfare of farmers cannot be improved without collaboration between the government, as development policy maker; farmer organisations, as main actors; exporters, as buyers of commodities that farmers produce; research institutions, as providers of knowledge resources; financial institutions, as providers of working capital to farmer organisations; and NGOs as providers of support.
Early this year, VECO Indonesia and coffee and cocoa stakeholders in Flores initiated this commitment by signing memorandum of understandings (MoU). This was done in two districts – Manggarai Timur and Ngada – both of which are in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara.
The MoU of stakeholders in Manggarai Timur was signed on 5 February 2015, in the Manggarai Timur district secretariat auditorium, following a workshop to discuss strategies for managing the potential of coffee and cocoa gardens in this district.
The stakeholders that made this commitment and signed the MoU were the Manggarai Timur district government (represented by Governor Yosef Tote), Asnikom cooperative (represented by chair Lodovikus Vadirman), Indokom Citra Persada (represented by president director Asnawi Saleh), Jember Coffee and Cocoa Research Centre (represented by centre lead Dr. Pujianto), Bank NTT (represented by managing director Daniel Tagu Ded), and VECO Indonesia (represented by regional representative Rogier Eijkens).
The signing of the MoU in Ngada took place at a coffee morning in the offices of the Ngada governor, on Friday, 6 February 2015. Along with VECO Indonesia, Bank NTT, Indokom, and the Coffee and Cocoa Research Centre, other stakeholders signing this MoU were Ngada governor Marianus Sae, and chair of the secondary cooperative MPIG-AFB, Bernadus Bere.
The signing of the MoU was followed by a stakeholder dialogue, which was attended by members of the secondary cooperative of the primary cooperative and the managers of cocoa processing units. Around 70 people attended the dialogue, which took place in the auditorium of the Ngada district head.
VECO Indonesia regional representative Rogier Eijkens said that the signing of these MoU is expected to strengthen the cooperation between stakeholders who are committed to the development of the coffee and cocoa sectors in these districts. The expectation is that farmers will have easier access to business services such as capital, information and technology, as well as access to markets at fair prices.
This will undoubtedly motivate the farmers to develop and join farmer organisations such as Asnikom in Manggarai and MPIG-AFB cooperative in Bajawa. [Fransiska Rengo, VECO Indonesia coffee chain field officer in Flores]