The Strength of the Farm Cooperative

Tanakeke-Batu Ampara Village, Indonesia

In Batu Ampara Village, the Vannamei shrimp breeding project has now been implemented seven times, and the farmers appear to have more confidence breeding both Vannamei and Tiger shrimp. Over this past quarter, the shrimp breeding has been successful and farmers have been harvesting good quality shrimp.

One of the challenges the farmers face is getting a fair price for their shrimp. Last week, the price that was offered by a third party for Tiger shrimp of export quality was 17,500 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) (approximately $1.35) per pound when the price from a direct buyer was 55,000 IDR (approximately $4.25) per pound. Currently, the farmers can only sell through a third party or local markets and have no bargaining power, particularly if they borrow capital from the third parties and subsequently must sell their harvest to the lenders. The farmers are then caught in a cycle of debt that is difficult to escape and are not able to enjoy the good results of their harvest.

In an effort to address this challenge faced by the farmers, GHNI has been working with the community to form a shrimp cooperative. The cooperative would facilitate the purchase of key supplies for shrimp farming, including fertilizer, shrimp feed, and pesticide, and also enable fishermen to sell directly to the buyer for a fairer and more competitive price. GHNI staff is currently helping to develop a relationship with a direct buyer, who is now aware of the situation that the community faces.

To form the cooperative, we have been meeting with a group of women, the wives of the fishermen, who have expressed interested in participating. GHNI staff will train the women on business skills, such as accounting and bookkeeping, taking responsibility of the supplies, and on community building topics, such as conflict resolution, cooperation and caring for each other.

Rimba

GHNI Project Manager, Indonesia