Jakarta. Food company Danone Specialized Nutrition or Danone SN Indonesia have teamed up with Rural Technology Development Institute, also known as LPTP, to help empower women dairy farmers, particularly in the provinces of Central Java and Yogyakarta.
A 2020 survey reported that the population of dairy cattles in Java had grown by 2.52 percent annually between 2010 and 2020. The National Statistics Agency (BPS) data in 2020 revealed that Central Java produced about 99,920 tons of fresh milk. Followed by Yogyakarta with 5,411 tons. This makes Central Java and Yogyakarta as the third and fourth largest fresh milk producing provinces, respectively.
Dairy farmers, however, are mostly men older than 50 years old. Many people also view farming as a “men-only” field, despite women contributing to a large part of farming activities.
According to Ratih Anggraeni, the head of climate and water stewardship at Danone Indonesia, women are still associated with domestic roles despite many of them contributing to the family income.
“We want to boost women farmers’ skills, so they are more empowered to contribute to the people’s health, both within the scope of their families [and also] by driving the economic wheel as farmers,” Ratih said, as quoted from a recent press statement.
To this end, Danone SN Indonesia and LPTP recently held a webinar on women’s role in advancing the dairy farming ecosystem. Both also joined forces for a farmer regeneration program, which also saw participation from women farmers. The program focuses in three districts, namely Boyolali, Klaten, and Sleman.
"Last year, we launched the farmer regeneration program which focused on nurturing young farmers that could continue and ensure the sustainability of household-scale farms and milk-based businesses. This is crucial, because despite its growth, the domestic milk production has not met the national demand. The milk consumption per capita in Indonesia is also still low compared to six other countries in Southeast Asia,” Ratih said.
In this program, Danone works alongside local dairy cooperatives to provide facilities, prepare training modules for good farming practices or dairy cattle cultivation, and hold training sessions for farmers.
Danone SN Indonesia and LPTP also train the young farmers on dairy cattle cultivation, business plans, feed innovation, among others. Participants also get access to agricultural technologies and digital learning platforms.
According to Ratih, Danone has helped empower more than 400 farmers in three districts in Central Java and Yogyakarta.
Tri Utami is a farmer at Banyusri Hamlet, Jemowo Village in Central Java.
She was also one of the women farmers that joined Danone’s farmer regeneration program.
According to Tri Utami, technologies such as automatic milking machines have helped her save energy and time.
“Technology adoption has resulted in a more optimum production process. I also have more time for my family. And I have gained all this knowledge thanks to the farmer regeneration program by Danone SN Indonesia and LPTP,” Tri Utami said.