Improving Food Security: European Union and Penabulu Foundation Launch ECHO Green Project to Promote Inclusive Green Economy in Agriculture Sector

by Admin Konsil LSM Indonesia
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Jakarta, 16 October 2020. Penabulu Foundation together with the Consortium for Supporting
Community‐based Forest System Management (KpSHK), Indonesia NGO Council (Konsil LSM) and ICCO
Cooperation launched today a project titled “Promoting Green Economic Initiatives by Women and
Youth Farmers in the Sustainable Agriculture Sector in Indonesia (ECHO Green)”.

The launch of the ECHO Green project, which coincides with World Food Day, is held in collaboration with
the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and
Child Protection, the Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration, the Ministry of
Agriculture, and East Lombok District Government.

With financial support from the European Union worth €950,000 or IDR 16.6 billion, the ECHO Green
project will enhance collaboration between the Government, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the
private sector to introduce sustainable agricultural practices and to ensure the involvement of women
and young farmers in village spatial and land‐use planning.

The project will give technical support to 120 CSOs, 100 women farmers, 100 young farmers, and
100 villages in eight sub‐districts in three districts in Indonesia, namely Padang Pariaman (West Sumatra),
Grobogan (Central Java) and East Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara). The project will be completed by 2022.
Eko Komara, Director of Penabulu Foundation, expressed support for innovative green economy with
women and young people at the forefront. “ECHO Green can be used as a learning medium for the
achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the regions. Women and young people have an
important role in the field of empowering human resources, and are the motor of development in the era
of Information Technology 4.0. ECHO Green has an ambition to improve the green economy, especially
in agriculture as a mainstay sector for creating sustainable jobs, realising food sovereignty and
sustainability, and introducing a more inclusive approach for all parties,” said Eko.

Dida Suwarida, the National Programme Manager of ECHO Green, said that the project will utilise digital
technology to introduce the Green Economy concept to the beneficiaries in Padang Pariaman, East
Lombok and Grobogan Regencies. “The corona virus poses a risk to the community. The virus outbreak
convinced us that women and young people must take a role in securing our future. Without optimising
digital technology, the pandemic will lead to a lack of interest in sustainable agriculture as well as halt the
distribution and chain of production, marketing and consumption,” said Dida.

In the National Medium‐Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020‐2024, the government noted the issue of
rising food demand as the population increases by 1.2 percent. However, relatively low productivity and
price fluctuations have resulted in low bargaining power of farmers. The ECHO Green project aligns itself
with the national development priority agenda for 2020‐2024, especially:
 Strategy 6.2.2 Increasing the role and representation of women in politics and development;
 Strategy 6.3.3 Sustainable management of natural resources and the environment, and spatial
planning in rural areas; and
 Strategy 6.9.9 Increase the participation of young people in development.

The support from Regencies of Padang Pariaman, Grobogan and East Lombok bring added value in the
achievement of the ECHO Green’s objectives.
“The strategy and concept of ECHO Green are in line with the target of East Lombok as defined in the
district plan, which is how to utilise local potentials such as fisheries, agriculture and tourism so as to
stimulate an inclusive and sustainable economy,” said H.M. Juaini Taofik, District Secretary of East Lombok
Region.

Meanwhile, the Head of Regional Development Planning Agency (BAPPEDA) of Grobogan Regency, Anang
Armunanto, said that the ECHO Green project is essential for Grobogan as it will encourage and empower
women and young people to work in the agricultural sector as the mainstay sector in Grobogan. “It is
hoped that the project can develop their interests and technical skills in the sector,” said Anang.
Similarly, Yurisman, Head of Department of Agriculture and Food Security of Padang Pariaman District,
stated, “The ECHO Green project is in line with what is being carried out by the Agriculture and Food
Security Department of Padang Pariaman District. It is hoped that valuable lessons learned from the
project will improve the welfare of farmers,” said Yurisman.

“The European Union is proud to support this project in three regencies in West Sumatra, Central Java
and West Nusa Tenggara. For us, an inclusive green economy is part of achieving the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs). By applying the green, inclusive economy principles to agriculture, you will
increase agricultural productivity, create income, and reduce inequality and poverty,” said EU
Ambassador Vincent Piket. “Women and young farmers are playing a key role in the local agriculture
communities. Training them in modern agriculture techniques will improve food security and nutrition. It
will also help make agriculture sustainable for the long run. In this way the new project will produce direct
benefits for the citizens of Padang Pariaman, Grobogan and East Lombok,” he added.

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