Kulon Progo is one of Indonesia’s poorest districts, where many families live below the national poverty line. More than half of the population of Kulon Progo earn their living by working as farmers.
The majority of these farmers learned about farming and selling their produce from previous generations. While ample knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation, many farmers are not up-to-date on modern licensing and importing procedures. These procedures are crucial for the development of micro and small-scale farming enterprises (SMEs).
The Embassy of Canada to Indonesia, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, addressed the need to update farming skills by supporting the Association of Indonesian Women Unions (HAPSARI) through a series of seminars and workshops for female farmers.
The series helped to educate female farmers about everything from government policies, business marketing and applications, to increasing the productivity of post-harvest products and ways to purchase farming equipment to enhance the quality of their coffee.
Canada’s then Ambassador to Indonesia, Donald Bobiash, visited one of the workshops in this series, “Policies and Agenda Government and Institutional Strengthening Productivity Cooperative Facing ASEAN Economic Community,” and delivered opening remarks to an audience of 40 female coffee farmers and 10 male farmers who participated in the workshop.
The Ambassador noted that Canada recognizes women as critical partners in creating sustainable prosperity and stressed the important role local governments play, through policies and programs, in supporting and encouraging the development of SMEs, particularly those led by women.
Ambassador Bobiash was warmly welcomed by the local Vice-Governor who was accompanied by the provincial government’s Director for Cooperation, the President of HAPSARI, and several local senior officials. Lely Zailani, the President of HAPSARI stated during her opening remarks that the presence of Ambassador Bobiash demonstrated the importance that Canada attaches to women empowerment.
As part of the Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Agenda, Canada continues to support projects around the world that stimulate sustainable economic growth, increases food security, and promotes gender equality.