13 June 2011

“Can small farmers in Indonesia be successful?”

Jackie Pomeroy

Jackie and friends planting an improved variety of cocoa seedling at an experimental nursery in Flores.

Indonesian farmers produce a lot of things in high demand:  cocoa, coffee, seaweed, peanuts, beef cattle, etc.  Yet small farmers remain very poor and marginalized while the rest of Indonesia enjoys the benefits of 6-7% annual growth.  Right next door to Bali in NTB (Lombok and Sumbawa), more than a million people (nearly a quarter of the population) live below the poverty line, and they are mainly small farmers.  Why is this?  Or, more relevant to this discussion, what does it take to work with small farmers and empower them to grow out of poverty?

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