Indonesia Launches Foreign Exchange Village Program

Known locally as the “Desa Devisa” Program, the Foreign Exchange Village program aims to improve the capacity of local communities and develop villages’ superior commodities. Launched by the Indonesian Export Financing Agency, the program also encourages rural communities to participate in the global export chain; in doing so generating foreign exchange and contributing to the country’s economy through export activities.

The Jembrana cocoa farming community, which is joined and assisted by the Kerta Semaya Samaniya Cooperative, was chosen as the pioneer of this program. Since 2011, cocoa has become a leading commodity in Bali’s Jembrana Regency. Currently, there are 609 farmers with more than 50% being women. Jembrana Village is also the only cocoa bean producer in Indonesia that performs a fermentation process before the beans are chopped or become nibs. In the future, the community will become a national replica model for subsequent foreign exchange villages.

Following Jembrana, Bantul Village in Yogyakarta with its environmentally-friendly handcrafted products and West Java’s Subang Regency with its superior Arabica and Robusta coffee beans have also been established as Desa Devisa. As part of the program, all villages will receive training and continuous assistance to improve their products’ quality, production capacity and human resources development as well as obtaining necessary certifications to increase prices and boost their export activities.

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