GoLive Indonesia collaborating with Bogor Agricultural University organised the 2014 IPB-GoLive Indonesia conference “Driving change through research on the Indonesian development agenda” on 14 March 2014. The conference presented a keynote speech by Dr Iman Sugema, a senior researcher at INTERCAFE and five outstanding early career researchers from IPB. Dr Nunung Nuryartono, Director of INTERCAFE, officially opened the conference. This is the second conference that GoLive Indonesia has organised outside Adelaide. The first conference was held in Canberra collaborating with Indonesia Synergy.
Dr Nunung Nuryartono in his opening speech highlighted the potentials that Indonesian young researchers have to promote the Indonesian development agenda. He also hoped that the event could be continued in the future.
Dr Iman Sugema in the keynote speech identified a challenge faced by Indonesian researchers, that is to publish at reputable international academic journals. He hoped that this conference can inspire early career researchers to contribute to policy discussions in Indonesia as suggested by the conference’s theme and would be followed-up by a program to facilitate joint-working papers writing between IPB and the University of Adelaide researchers.
The first invited speaker, Dr Amzul Rifin, who completed his PhD at Tokyo University, presented his research on the impacts of export tax policy on cocoa farmers and supply chains. He concluded that there is no change in marketing channel due to the implementation of export tax. Dr Rifin, concluded that with the export tax, margin of exporters decreased because of increased competition in obtaining cocoa beans from farmers.
Dr Muhammad Najib, also a Tokyo University graduate, presented his research on rural development and food processing SMEs in Indonesia. The SMEs contribute to more than a half of the total GDP. Food processing industries have potentials in Indonesia but they are facing challenges including limited supply of raw materials, knowledge about marketing and access to capital. Support for SMEs is needed as its development will contribute to rural development.
Dr Jaenal Effendi presented his work on the role of Islamic microfinance in poverty alleviation and environmental awareness in Pasuruan, East Java, Indonesia. Dr Effendi highligted positive effects of microfinance institutions on reducing poverty and a potential role of Islamic microfinance institutions in promoting environmental awareness.
Dr Sahara gave a presentation on “the transformation of modern food retailers in Indonesia: opportunities and challenges for smallholder farmers”. The Indonesian agricultural sector is denominated by the presence of smallholders, those who have land less than 0.5 ha. Using the chili sector as a case study, Dr Sahara identified challenges facing farmers participate in modern channels including education (which can affect innovation), distance to road and storage facilities. Opportunities from supermarket channel participation include higher prices, more access to inputs and higher per capita incomes.
Dr Eka Puspitawati presented her research on “patterns, determinants and effects of farmers’ participation in the modern channels: a case of Indonesia potato farmers”. Dr Puspitawati suggested that the government should improve access to infrastructure, input production and credits to assist farmers entering into modern channels.
GoLive Indonesia is grateful to the support that IPB especially the INTERCAFE staff Dr Nunung Nuryartono and Dr Lukytawati Anggraeni Putra and the financial support provided by the Australia Indonesia Institute at the DFAT. Both IPB and GoLive Indonesia hope that the conference can be continued in the future.