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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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The WEF PISAgro Corn Ecosystem Partnership in Indonesia

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“I feel proud to produce more corn from my farm, and earn more for my family. For the first time, I feel the seed companies like Monsanto, Cargill, and bank like BRI, – are collaborating so I can be successful. This is the first time I participated in this project and I benefited from the best agricultural practice training. I am looking forward to more secured yield and better earnings so my wife and children can live comfortably and peacefully. I also hope that I can continue to produce and earn more.” – Suyanto

Suyanto, a 43-year-old farmer from Jrambe village, Mojokerto, East Java, Indonesia, owned one hectare of land on which he cultivated corn. Through WEF PISAgro (World Economic Forum  – Partnership for Indonesia Sustainable Agriculture) Corn  Ecosystem  Partnership between Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Monsanto Indonesia, Cargill, and East Java Government, Suyanto earned higher income of IDR 2,904,000 (~US$ 252) and a 14 percent higher yield per hectare in this harvest season. Suyanto is one of many famers associated with the  PISAgro Corn Working Group who realized these benefits.

The pilot project started in June 2014 and involving two corn farmers working groups: Tani Makmur and Tani Sari Mulyo. Harvest occurred in November. Under PISAgro, Monsanto, Cargill and BRI work together with 100 smallholder corn farmers on 50 hectares of land. From this project alone, farmers were able to receive IDR305 million (USD 23,460) of working capital credit under the KKPE plan, from which they were able to purchase seeds and fertilizers.

“From a baseline study, we identified some obstacles faced by farmers daily, such as no financial funding (high interest, shadow banking,, lowest technology adoption and inefficiency on GAP (Good Agronomic Practice), poor harvesting process, and inability in meeting the industry’s requirements of good quality of grains,” says Mauricio Amore, Monsanto country lead for Indonesia. “The Corn Working Group agreed to provide an integrated solution by optimizing each party’s role and involving relevant key stakeholders to optimize the result.”

This collaboration enabled farmers to improve their livelihoods by maximizing their corn crop productivity and quality through use of better farm inputs, such as Monsanto’s DEKALB corn high-yielding hybrid seeds and improved farming practices. They also gained access to formal finance loans from Bank BRI; optimized use of farm inputs; and received post-harvest assistance and guaranteed corn grain procurement by Cargill. This Farmer-Monsanto-BRI-Cargill partnership offers a model to enable food sovereignty by increasing agricultural production and improving farmers’ welfare via a market-based approach.

“To support the Indonesian Government to reach food productivity and affordable price goals, this collaboration provided technological solutions and a supply chain plan to meet the farmers’ need and help address food demand in Indonesia,” says Amore.

Farmers’ ability to access formal financial support and credit has been a long-time challenge in Indonesia. Farmers’ success also depends on the availability of working capital so they can procure good quality seeds, fertilizers and other inputs. Indonesia’s corn imports for feed have grown tenfold in the past five years alone, with the country incurring an import bill of $1 Bn p.a., funds that could have been invested in education, healthcare, water and road infrastructure.

This WEF PISAgro partnership is expected to overcome traditional challenges and contribute to food self-sufficiency in Indonesia.

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