There are two sub-components:
The project will be implemented by the establishment of 375 Sustainable Rice Production and Information Centers (SRPIC) at village level which will cover three provinces of West Java, Central Java and North Sumatra. The project will engage 125 field facilitators with agricultural education.
Each facilitator will be responsible for three SRPICs with the capacity of 20 trained lead farmers each. The trained farmers will in turn capacitate another ten farmers. In total, 7,500 farmers will benefit directly from the field facilitators’ training whereas another 75,000 farmers will be trained by the lead farmers to enhance their knowledge in sustainable rice cultivation.
Selected farmers will undergo an intensive training following an intensive curriculum on good agricultural practices on sustainable rice production including land preparation, selection of seeds, soil fertility, fertilizer and integrated pest management (IPM) strongly encouraging safety and an optimized use of agricultural inputs. The curriculum will also tap on teaching farm economics to ensure a proper understanding of running a farm as a business and thus being able to judge whether agricultural inputs are economically and environmentally useful. The environmental aspect of farm economics will include selected climate change adaptation methods.
Better market access can only be reached with bargaining power and a product meeting the market requirements. Working with “downstream actors” like rice millers and traders directly will lead to enhanced market transparency and trustful long-term business relationships. As for now, Indonesian rice farmers are facing high input costs and relatively low selling prices due to the traditional collector/agent system. Therefore, the project will encourage the various rice supply chain actors to work together with a long-term perspective ensuring a stable supply of products according to the quality standards of the respective rice mills. In certain areas where the land access and transportation are difficult, rice millers are expected to work with machinery companies to provide “mobile mills.”
Better market access will also be encouraged through a business match-making between farmers (who are trained in farm economics) and microfinance institutions so that needed working capital could be provided.
The public awareness of economically viable sustainable crop practices and their positive impacts on the environment is still to be regarded as low in Indonesia. Public awareness will be created through media campaigns and respective events at village and sub-district levels. This intervention area will also target the Indonesian youth in selected communities aiming at encouraging them to regard the business opportunity of rice farming. A number of selected young farmers will be trained and get involved in the rice supply chain through field visits in order to enhance their entrepreneurial thinking in the rice sector.