BMZ Visits BRIA Project Site in Indonesia

“I believe that capacity development is key to improving agricultural production and farmers’ livelihoods and to achieving food security.” – Mrs. Traudel Koehler, BMZ representative.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) reiterated its commitment to helping rice farmers improve their livelihoods through a recent visit to BRIA Indonesia.
 
Mrs. Traudel Koehler, BMZ representative, visited Deli Serdang District in North Sumatra Province to observe the programme and public-private collaboration. Accompanied by Mr. Jan Fraeb, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Chairman, GIZ develoPPP.de; Mr. Deniz Sercant from the German Embassy; Mr. Zulazmi, Deputy Country Director of GIZ Indonesia; Mr. Sulaiman Ginting, Focal Person for BRIA Indonesia and Mr. Saurin Shah, Head of Crop Protection Business, BASF, Mrs. Koehler visited the Rice Seed Learning Centre in Tanjung Rejo Village. The Centre, which was established by the Rice Seed Association and BRIA, serves as a hub for farmers to exchange knowledge, improve good farming practices and produce various varieties of quality seeds.
 
The team learned about rice cultivation technologies transferred via the BRIA Farmer Field School, training materials and activities, project documentation in a Farmer Field School session where BRIA demonstrated seed treatment technology, the ‘Legowo’ rice planting method, fertilisation based on crop needs and soil nutrient status, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to participating farmers. Farmers also practiced using the Paddy Soil Test Kit. Afterwards, the team visited the seed processing unit of one seed grower where they observed on-farm seed production processes, seed sorting and packaging, quality control and certification.
 
Mr. Deniz Sercant from the German Embassy noted that the cooperation is very beneficial to sustainability. Since BRIA as a project has a limited duration and has been contributing positively to improving rice farming management of farmers, government agencies should continue this programme in the future.
 
“By visiting this BRIA Project site, I have had a great opportunity to directly observe farmers’ activities in the field. I believe that capacity development is key to improving agricultural production and farmers’ livelihoods and to achieving food security as well,” Mrs. Koehler said, ending the visit on a positive note.

The BRIA programme in Indonesia aims to improve rice farming management by providing technical assistance to farmers for better farming practices and is implemented together with BASF, the private partner, in four districts across two provinces. The programme collaborates with the local government to organise the Farmer Field School (FFS) to impart training to farmers, promote the establishment of agribusiness-oriented farmer groups, train farmers to become seed growers at the farmer group level, and set up a learning centre to promote good quality rice seed production.
 
Through empowering rice farmers, the project seeks to develop the rice sector, increase rice production and farmers’ incomes. Currently, 2,211 lead farmers in Indonesia have completed the FFS training programme while 1,050 others are poised to undergo this season-long training approach this planting season. In addition, the project also supports and strengthens seed growers, in line with the Ministry of Agriculture’s programme to establish and revitalise seed systems in 1,000 self-sufficient seed villages.

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