Food security is very important for Indonesia. Western Australia (WA) has very strong agricultural trading relationships with Indonesia, exporting $466 million worth of produce in 2013, with key commodities including grain, live cattle, meat and offal.
The Empowering Women in Agriculture – Australia and Indonesia Program was a joint venture between the East Javan Government and the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA). The project was managed by Influential Women Pty Ltd and led by Catherine Marriott.
This pilot program aimed to develop the skills of Indonesian and WA women in agriculture and empower them to develop suitable business approaches and to grow their businesses. WA women sharing their knowledge and experience in farm business operations with Indonesian women contributed something very valuable to them and provided a cross-culture knowledge-sharing opportunity to build positive, meaningful relationships with our Indonesian partners, right across the supply chain.
A group of seven women from Western Australian farming properties visited Indonesia in June 2014 and meet with seven women’s groups in East Java and formed mentoring relationships. In August 2014, representatives from the seven Indonesian women groups traveled to WA where they visited several farming enterprises across the southwest and got to experience life on a cattle station in the Kimberley.
The interaction between WA and Indonesian women is crucial to increasing cultural diversity and appreciation in rural WA and for the establishment of enduring market and personal relationships between our two sister states.