An agreement has been signed today by Tzu Chi Indonesia, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), and ADM, aimed at bolstering rural development programs in three regencies of Indonesia’s Riau province. This one-year partnership, funded by a grant from ADM Cares, ADM’s social investment program, will initiate two projects targeting communities within GAR and ADM’s supply chain. These initiatives will expand on GAR and Tzu Chi Indonesia’s existing programs in childcare and sustainable agriculture education within GAR’s palm plantations in Riau.
In Jakarta, the agreement was announced and witnessed by representatives from all three parties. Alexander Otten, Managing Director, Global Trade Asia at ADM, expressed pride in this partnership, which combines the shared supply chain and extensive farmer networks of ADM and GAR in Riau with Tzu Chi Indonesia’s grassroots expertise. The goal is to enhance the resilience of rural communities by providing essential support, knowledge, and skills to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life in Riau, supported by ADM Cares and in collaboration with GAR and Tzu Chi Indonesia.
Enhancing Access to Childcare in Rural Communities:
The lack of accessible childcare has been identified as a significant barrier to women participating in the workforce. Increasing women’s workforce participation in line with Indonesia’s G20 commitments, from approximately 53 to 58 percent, could potentially add US$62 billion to the country’s economy and increase GDP by 0.7 percent, according to the World Bank.
GAR currently operates more than 300 Child Care Centers (Balai Penitipan Anak or BPAs) across its operations in Indonesia. As part of this program, 60 full-time caregivers at 35 BPAs in Riau will undergo specialized training in childcare and early years education. Facilities and classroom equipment at these centers will also receive upgrades.
This expanded childcare initiative will benefit over 760 children of plantation workers, helping more women reenter the labor market. This will lead to significant social and economic advantages.
Irwan Tirtariyadi, Head of Upstream Operations at GAR, highlighted the broader benefits of high-quality childcare. Access to such services is crucial in enabling women to work outside the home. This partnership will offer targeted training, support, and improved facilities, thereby expanding the impact of BPAs while promoting community resilience and economic independence. Additionally, these centers will provide a strong educational foundation to prepare future generations for a better future.
Community Learning Centers:
The second part of the project will build upon GAR’s network of Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in West Kalimantan and Riau to help rural communities diversify their income sources.
The partnership will establish a new CLC to educate more than 180 farming families in Riau on sustainable agriculture systems. The CLC will also support participants in monetizing these skills by setting up Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and community-owned businesses.
To date, GAR has assisted communities in establishing 37 MSMEs through the Bright Future Initiative, providing training in business planning, digital literacy, and financial literacy to help communities market their products. Building on GAR’s experience in Riau, this new initiative will create 12 community groups participating in pilot projects aimed at developing integrated ecological farming practices, producing commercial organic fertilizers and crops, and enhancing cattle cultivation practices to increase efficiency and add value to farmers.
About Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (GAR):
GAR is a leading fully-integrated agribusiness company in Indonesia. As of June 30, 2023, it manages an oil palm plantation area of 537,733 hectares, including plasma smallholders. GAR focuses on technology-driven production and distribution of a wide range of palm-based products through its international marketing network. Founded in 1996, GAR was listed on the Singapore Exchange in 1999 and has a market capitalization of US$2.3 billion as of June 30, 2023.
ADM is a global human and animal nutrition company committed to harnessing the power of nature to enhance the quality of life. They provide innovative solutions in health and well-being, plant-based products, agriculture supply chain management, and sustainability. ADM’s goal is to address nutritional and sustainability challenges today and in the future.
Learn more at www.adm.com.
About Tzu Chi Indonesia:
Tzu Chi Indonesia is the national branch of the Tzu Chi Foundation, a humanitarian social organization established by Master Cheng Yen in 1966. With its headquarters in Hualien, Taiwan, the Tzu Chi Foundation operates in 67 countries worldwide, providing relief aid to more than 128 countries based on the principles of universal love. The organization is active in charity work, health services, education, and culture.
Learn more at https://www.tzuchi.or.id/eng/