Indonesia is an archipelago country with approximately 80,000km of coastline and large ocean territory rich with marine resources. With nearly 70% of fisheries outputs from aquaculture, Indonesia is the world's second largest producer of seafood (FAO, 2014), and is responsible for 75% of global cultivated seaweed production. South Sulawesi Province is one of the main aquaculture producers in Indonesia for seaweed, shrimp, and milkfish.
Of the country's population of 258 million, 11.2% are still living below the national poverty line. Over 90% of the fish, shellfish, and seaweed farming is undertaken by small producers in the coastal areas. These producers continue to face challenges to improve their livelihood and economic well-being, but if quality and quantity of production can meet market demands there are opportunities to link small scale producers to domestic and international markets through co-operatives and other private sector suppliers and processors.
South Sulawesi Province is one of the main aquaculture producers in Indonesia for seaweed, shrimp, and milkfish. The provincial government set the highest production targets for these three aquaculture commodities for the next four years: 5,125,000 tons for seaweed, 301,000 tons for milkfish, and 51,150 tons for shrimp by 2019 (Statistics for Aquaculture in South Sulawesi, 2014). Also, the contribution from the fisheries sector to local government revenues are targeted with a significant increase from 38.87% (2016) to 45.25% (2018), despite labour force in this sector only accounting for 15% (slightly over 1 million) of South Sulawesi’s population. Seaweed is targeted to contribute a minimum of 85% outputs to the fisheries sector (South Sulawesi’s Marine and Fisheries Forum, 2016).
The INVEST Co-op Indonesia Project will strengthen the position of small aquaculture producers of seaweed, milkfish, and shrimp (SMS) in four regencies in South Sulawesi (Takalar, Jeneponto, Bantaeng, and North Luwu) through the establishment of integrated co-operative (co-op) business models.
The project provides technical assistance and inputs in three main areas:
1. Farmers: Working directly with women and men small aquaculture producers (WMSAP) to increase the quality and quantity of climate-smart production, access to financial services, and access to markets through co-operatives;
2. Co-ops: Working with existing as well as new co-operatives and farmers' groups (encouraging them to form co-operatives) to strengthen their capacity and institutional capability to ensure sustainable, profitable and gender equitable businesses as well as provide better services to their members; and
3. Enablers: Working with government, private companies, business associations and other stakeholders to strengthen networks and an enabling and conducive environment, and supply chains for better WMSAP livelihoods and strong co-operative networks.