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ICC Participated in a Focus Group Discussion: Increasing Market Access and Development of the Main Products and Coconut by-products Based on Farmer Groups

Gratieks (Gerakan 3 Kali Lipat Ekspor/3-fold Export Movement) Policy has positively contributed to the national economies.  One of the strategies is to increase the value of estate crop exports by 7% in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019. Increased exports estate crops commodities continue to be pursued through accelerated improvement programs of production, added value, and competitiveness (Gerakan Akselerasi Program Peningkatan  Produksi, Nilai Tambah dan Daya Saing/Grasida) of 14 superior crops estate commodities, especially coconut.

In the context of the strategy above as an effort to increase the income of coconut farmers, especially in North Sulawesi, the Directorate General of Estate Crops through the Directorate of Processing and Marketing of Estate Crops Products carried out a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) at Sintesa Peninsula Hotel Manado, 24-25 September 2020. This program aimed to increase the export of estate crops commodities, especially coconut.

The topic of the FGD was "Increasing Market Access and Development of the main products and coconut by-products based on farmer groups". The FGD activity was opened virtually by the Director-General of Estate Crops, Dr. Ir. Kasdi Subagyono, M.Sc through a zoom meeting connection. The FGD participants came from research institutions, North Sulawesi AIAT, Manado Class I Quarantine, city and district estate crops services, coconut observers, leaders of coconut farmer groups, and coconut business actors as well as invited guests from North Maluku who were represented by the Head of Agriculture of North Maluku.

The first resource person was Ir. Dedi Junaidi, M.Sc, the Director of Processing and Marketing Estate Crops. He presented coconut development program for CY 2020 and 2021, under the Directorate General of Estate Crops, including the establishment of modern coconut seed gardens as sources of planting materials for the region, capacity building and technology transfer to farmers and groups of farmers as well as establishment of household coconut-based food source by planting dwarf varieties on the home yard of each farmer. 

Executive Director of ICC, Ir. Jelfina C. Alouw, M.Sc., Ph.D. presented the outlook of world market prospects for coconut products during the Covid-19 Pandemic. She said that, the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on coconut sectors varied among the type of industry/product, countries, and regions. But, long-term prospects of markets for coconut products especially higher value products are extremely positive, however competition for raw material is high amongst products. Therefore, product development, diversification, quality including R&D requires expansion. 

The next speaker was Head of North Sulawesi Bappeda, Ir. Jenny Karouw, M.Si, presented program and budget policies to support coconut development in North Sulawesi Province.Head of North Sulawesi Estate Crops Service, Ir. Refly Nantung, spoke on potential and estate crops office support to Increase production, productivity, quality and value-added coconut in North Sulawesi. Ir. Engelbert Manaironsong MSi, Indonesian Palm Crops Research Institute ( (Balit Palma), Indonesian Agricultural Research and Development Agency (IAARD), presented the role of Balit Palma in research and development of value-added and export-oriented coconut products.  

The next session topics were: market potential and barriers to exports of Indonesian coconut products to China, presented by Head of ITPC Shanghai. Market potential and barriers to exports of Indonesian Coconut Products to India, presented by Kumara Jati, Ph.D. Head of Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC), Chennai-India, Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, highliting that there were Indonesian brands were sold in India by online and with local brand.  The potential for development and export of by-products (Coconut Coir) in Indonesia by Efli Ramli Chairman of AISKI (Indonesian Coconut Coir Industry Association) and CEO of PT. Mahligai Indococo Fiber. He shared his experience that the export opportunities for coco fiber and coco peat were still wide open. Indonesia could only supply 0.3% of the demand. Next resource, Mr. Djonny Suwanto- CEO, PT Kelapa Biru Nusantara shared the development and export potential of VCO in Indonesia. He introduced the DME (Direct Micro Expelling) process for VCO production that made possible local families or village communities producing the most fresh VCO in the world in just one hour after the coconut was peeled. As an industry hub, his company disseminated the appropriate technology training to Partners Farmers (Mitra Kelompok Tani) across the country. 

At the end of the event, an MoU was also signed between the private sector, representated by PT. Mahligai Indococo Fiber and PT Kelapa Biru, and farmer groups for the development of value-added coconut products, as the implementation on the strategy increasing market access and development for coconut products to increase the selling value of coconut commodities.    

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