Asian Agri is providing training in catfish farming to a group of its partner independent smallholders in Perlabian Village, North Sumatra, so they will have an alternative source of income before their palm oil plantations enter the replanting period.
The smallholders are all members of the Anugerah Jaya Mandiri Sejahtera farmer’s cooperative in Perlabian Village.
“During the replanting period, it is likely there is potential loss of the smallholders’ incomes. Therefore, we want to develop various alternative activities which can result in substitution incomes - and catfish cultivation is among those on the list.
“It is our hope that smallholders need not be afraid of facing the replanting period of their oil palm plantations, with these trainings that we give,” said Pengarapen Gurusinga, Asian Agri Head of Partnership.
Asian Agri facilitates the smallholders’ catfish cultivation training by bringing in experts to provide mentoring and training. The company accompanies the farmers from the start of the cultivation, until the end when the catfish can be marketed.
One Asian Agri smallholder partner, H Tawarsyah Lubis, praised Asian Agri's commitment in developing the smallholders’ skills.
“I think this training is one way that shows Asian Agri’s good commitment in supporting smallholders to prepare for the replanting period,” he said.