A group of youth volunteers from eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN: Cohort Two aspires to promote the use of digital technology to sustain the development of the cocoa farming industry in West Sulawesi, Indonesia. They created a digital marketing platform to help young farmers expose their products to a wider market. Initiated by Rikolto Indonesia, this digital-based farming and agripreneurship project also seeks to attract the young generation to drive innovation in agriculture.
Please tell us about your project!
Rikolto is an international NGO with more than 40 years of experience in partnering with farmer organisations and food chain stakeholders across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Rikolto runs programmes in 17 countries and has 7 regional offices. We as the 9 youth volunteers from Empowering Youths Across ASEAN (EYAA) programme were given the chance to work with Rikolto Indonesia to run the Digital-based Farming and Agripreneurship project to promote youth engagement in the agriculture Sector. There are 2 key focused areas: Digital farming and Digital marketing. The target group of this project is young farmers in West Sulawesi, Indonesia, and the focus area is on cocoa farming.
How does the project support young farmers?
Several digital farming workshops were organised by Rikolto with the purpose of solving the real issue faced by young farmers. Youth were given exposure to cocoa farming and the fermentation process. Internet of Things (IoT) experts were invited to attend the workshops and share their experience on how IoT can be used to tackle the issues faced during farming and processing. One of our volunteers – Musawwir from Indonesia had flown to West Sulawesi and participated directly in the Digital Farming workshop. While others were not able to do so due to the COVID-19 travel constraints. Musawwir was involved in the IoT workshop and assisted in information gathering in preparation for the development of the Digital Marketing platform.
Some of us work on the development of the digital marketing platform. We had approached different web development companies to get the quotation for building the platform. After several discussions, BiruDaun, a web development company in Indonesia was selected. We initiated a meeting between BiruDaun, Rikolto (represented by Prima) and youth farmers to understand the requirements and objectives of the digital marketing platform. Subsequent meetings were arranged to facilitate the information gathering and showcase the minimum viable product (MVP) of the digital marketing platform. The youths were impressed by the MVP of digital marketing platform and given some feedback on improving the customer journey. The Digital Marketing platform was completed with the help of a Rikolto representative to obtain vital information from the young farmers. A mini launch event was organised on 18 December 2021. Guest speakers had shared their experience in developing and using the digital marketing platform and apps. Key information includes how to thrive during COVID-19 and the method to increase usage of the digital marketing platform.
That sounds amazing! What are your hopes for the future?
The digital marketing platform is the bridge between the final products of young farmers and cocoa lovers in Indonesia. We hope that the platform can help to reach out to a wider audience and provide exposure to the excellent cocoa products produced by the young farmers in West Sulawesi. It is an eye-opening journey for us throughout the project and we hope that the digital marketing platform can help the young farmers get more attention from the cocoa lovers around the world!
Edited by: Adinda Widya Pasugitaningtiyas, Communications Intern