The US ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Marciel, signed on behalf of USAID, saying: “The more we work together and exchange ideas, goods and people between our two countries, the more we will both benefit.”
Trade ties between the superpower and the region’s biggest economy have been getting closer of late, and last month, USAID had been working with Kadin at the Food Ingredients Asia trade show in Jakarta to promote sustainable fisheries.
As the agreement takes effect, the United States and the chamber will expand co-operation to improve access to food, further open markets to trade, and increase productivity and sustainability in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
The first shared project of the new partnership will be to increase access to credit and crop insurance for Indonesian farmers. Access to credit will enable farmers to invest in their land and buy improved materials. Crop insurance will protect farmers’ investments by providing a payout in case of crop failure.
Developing a Blue Economy
The USAID-Kadin partnership will also engage the private sector on the “Blue Economy”, an initiative announced by the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio.
Blue Economy sets out to leverage sustainable ocean-based economic development to drive income, food and business opportunities. The US already works with Indonesia on a number of Blue Economy programmes across a range of business sectors, and USAID contributes over US$30mn to optimise economic returns linked linked to the conservation of marine resources.
Kadin’s deputy chairman for agribusiness, food and animal husbandry, Franki Wijaya, said that food insecurity was increasingly important.
“As a vast country, Indonesia has the capability to providing part of the supply [the world requires],” he said adding that of the 110 million of workers in Indonesia, 40% worked in animal husbandry, fisheries and agricultural businesses, yet still needed improvements in their skills.
“This agreement will help build capacity for our workers and teach us about best practices in the US that we can implement in Indonesia,” he said.