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Friday, 6 October 2017

#ASEAN Heroes : A Glimpse Story of Samantha - Female Youth Farmpreneur!

Let’s meet Samantha Gunawan, 27 years old, who prefers to be called as farmpreneur instead of agripreneur because she believes the term is more suitable to represent her youth and what she has been doing!

Upon completion of her bachelor degree in US majoring Industrial Engineering, Samantha worked in Singapore for a year before her interest and passion about organic food brought her back to her home country, Indonesia. Driven by her curiosity in discovering more about organic food, she decided to do internship in one of agricultural organization to have more exposure about the things that she loves. As a result, her experience in exploring agricultural as well as visiting farms all over Indonesia made her even more fall in love with farming.

After finishing her internship, in 2015 Samantha decided to start running a land in Cijeruk, Bogor together with local farmers. It wasn’t an overnight success. There were lots of up and down along the way. As a young female whose leadership was questioned by male farmers, she needs lots of effort to prove that she was not just kidding around. For the first year, her action extended to go to the farm area every day to join the farming activity.

Through my action, I think they can see that I am sincere about what I am doing and slowly they accept the fact that female farmpreneur can somehow show different kind of care to them.

Managing people was not her only challenges. There were countless trial and error in growing crops. At first, blueboots farm envisioned to grow specific and exclusive vegetables for niche market. Despite of cost and labor efficiency as well as the low quality of the output, blueboots farm looked for more applicable option and the solution was to grow more local produce in Cijeruk area that required less effort but can bring even greater outcome.

After going through the trial and error, sweet potato and peanut become main focus of blueboots farm. Besides being sold directly through online platform distributing organic products, blueboots farm also run its own production house to turn the produce into ready to eat product such as chips, moringa powder, and peanut butter. The ready to eat product can be purchased directly from blueboots farm website and it will be deliver to right to your door step!

Being asked why Samantha prefers to leave the 9 to 5 job to do farming, she responded that while she was young she wanted to do something that she can be proud of when she finally retires. For her, farming offers the perfect combination – it is revolved not only around good food and people-focus but also the environment sustainability as well!

Despite her vision to bring blueboots farm bigger, she humbly admitted that she still has a long way to learn. Samantha is also active in social entrepreneurship forum and believes that network plays important role to start as well as to enhance the business itself. She hoped that more young people like her are encouraged to be in the agricultural business. Quoted from Samantha’s statement in blueboots website, she would be more than happy to talk if she has got no soil in her hand.

Thank you Samantha for the inspiring story. We wish you best luck!

Check out the blueboots farm’s profile and product here!