We mainly share our experiences about our training courses and study tours. In the summer of 2023, however, we spent our time also in a different way. Together with several of educational institutions, we went to Indonesia and Jordan to take time to engage with different stakeholders, understand their challenges, achievements, and needs, and explore collaborative pathways. During these missions, we engaged in meaningful dialogues with a range of entities including government agencies, ministries, embassies, educational and research institutions, private sector enterprises, NGOs, and financiers. These open discussions provided us with an opportunity to understand the nuances of these developments and, crucially, how Dutch and local organizations can benefit from each other.
Indonesia presented a landscape of challenges in the agri-food domain. These ranged from production and food chain obstacles to food safety, agri-businesses, youth engagement, vegetable consumption, and the complex issue of the long distances and logistics.
But the strategic vision, proactive initiatives, and eagerness of the many organizations we met to modernize, empower farmers, create better business opportunities, and involve young entrepreneurs will transform and strengthen this sector in the years to come.
It's well known that in Jordan, the agri-sector is not only suffering from water scarcity but also from the impact of the conflict in Syria. Many residents are enduring economic hardship, resulting suppressed local food prices—particularly for vegetables. This economic situation is pushing farmers to adopt modern cultivation practices. Breaking this cycle requires a multi-faceted approach.
Educational institutions are displaying keen interest in investing in vocational training, modern teaching methods, intensive practical experience and strengthening their links with the private sector. This will increase employment opportunities for graduates and make the agricultural sector a more attractive career choice. Collaborative initiatives involving international donor agencies, local businesses, educational and research institutions, as well as NGOs, are working together to promote positive change in the agri-sector.
Despite our long-standing association in both countries, these missions are valuable for fostering mutual understanding and learning. We also have a lot to learn from the experiences and best practices in these countries. We thank both our long-standing and newfound partners for their hospitality, generosity of time, shared developments, and enthusiasm for future collaboration. The road ahead is rich with opportunities and projects, and we are committed to nurturing these ties.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Groenpact for financing these missions.
For more information, please contact Engelie Beenen.