Indonesia’s First National Coconut and Palm Sugar Industry Workshop

March 4, 2016

In Indonesia, coconut and palm sugar are potential sugar sources for more than 255 million people. Coconut and palm sugar are used in many food industries such as soy sauce, traditional food, bread and others. In the last 5 years, the coconut and palm sugar industry has developed rapidly in Indonesia, with the export market for crystal sugar reaching nearly 800 tons per month.

Developing small-scale rural coconut and palm sugar production at the current pace needs the involvement of government, the private sector, NGOs, universities and service providers. Multi-stakeholder cooperation is key to achieving major development in this sector. Therefore, Perkumpulan SETARA with the support of Hivos Southeast Asia, AgriProFocus, Banyumas Regency Government and Adi Satrya Center conducted a national workshop, ‘The Development of Coconut and Palm Sugar Small Industry’, to meet the needs of every stakeholder in developing a sustainable coconut and palm sugar industry, that includes smallholders.

The workshop was held on December 17-18, 2015, at Purwokerto, Banyumas Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. It brought together 77 participants from different sectors, such as coconut and palm sugar producers, government ministries and related agencies, community organizers, universities and consultants, as well as traders and retailers.

To develop the market, the participants agreed to create greater product diversification and set up an association to address challenges regarding farmers’ welfare. On the policy side, the participants saw the clear need to develop an Indonesia National Standard (SNI) for coconut and palm sugar products, as well as to improve product quality to meet food safety standards

Another important outcome of the workshop is the “Banyumas Charter”, which calls for:

  1. A government road map for the coconut and palm sugar small industry to become a flagship commodity by involving the tappers, cooperatives, community organizers and market actors
  2. Synergy amongst multi-stakeholders to optimize cultivation, production and market development of coconut and palm sugar to compete within the ASEAN Free Trade (ASEAN Economic Community)
  3. Immediate establishment and development of an association or forum that will strengthen the position of value chain actors, foster cooperation amongst them and advocate to bridge their interests.

Hivos Southeast Asia is very pleased to support small-scale rural coconut and palm sugar entrepreneurs who are improving their livelihoods by seizing opportunities in global markets. This is perfectly in line with Hivos’ aims to improve food production in a way that is both environmentally sustainable and socially equitable