[RECAP] Final Project Conference of the Canada-Indonesia Trade and Private-Sector Assistance (TPSA) Project

Last Thursday on June 27, 2019, ANGIN representatives from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Jiaying (Candice) Li, Emily Izmirian, and Jacob Wee attended the Final Project Conference of the Canada-Indonesia Trade and Private-Sector Assistance (TPSA) project.

The event marked the end of a 5-year, $12 million project of increased trade, investment, and cooperation between Indonesia and Canada. The project is a combination of public and private sector involvement. In particular, TPSA’s investments aim to “mainstream” women empowerment, which means to integrate women in all aspects of business and to support environmental sustainability. Notable attendees included representatives from the Indonesian government including the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, and many of TPSA’s partners.

The event began with a discussion on gender equality within Indonesia’s coffee sector. Gayo Arabica coffee farmers from Aceh discussed the problems of women representation in coffee cooperatives. According to the farmers, it was difficult for women to join cooperatives because many cooperatives required its members to own land titles, which were often under their husbands’ name. However, because of efforts by TPSA, a women’s coffee cooperative was established to represent women coffee farmers in Aceh. The panelists also discussed the need for education and for further support for women.

After the discussion on gender equality, farmers discussed environmental sustainability in coffee farming. Coffee farmers discussed the challenges of environmental sustainability including irregular weather changes, pests and diseases, and even the capacity of a farmer. They shared solutions to these problems such as compositing to revitalize the land, better branch-cutting techniques, using seeds, and protecting the forest.

The event also included presentations by companies that improved efficiency and competence for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) such as SCORE and BEDO. These companies provide training by improving collaboration, especially through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 

Finally, the event included discussions on female entrepreneurship. Not only did the panelists discuss the challenges they faced, but they also discussed the use of technology to change and transform companies. Most notably, they discussed the importance of the help they received from ANGIN in raising funds and financing their businesses.

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