Canada's new Ambassador to Indonesia visits CCA aquaculture project
Ottawa, November 29, 2016 
Canada's new Ambassador to Indonesia, Peter MacArthur, visited seaweed producers in Bantaeng Regency, South Sulawesi Province yesterday. The Canadian Co-operative Association is collaborating with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland and a local Indonesian organization, LP3M (Lembaga Pengkajian Pedesaan, Pantai dan Masyarakat), to strengthen the position of small aquaculture producers of seaweed, milkfish and shrimp in four regencies of South Sulawesi. The four-year, $2.7 million project is called INVEST Co-op Indonesia.
Ambassador MacArthur (Ieft) speaks with project coordinator Herliani.
Small producers account fo r over 90% of the seaweed, milkfish an d shrimp farmed along Indonesia's coastline. Many farmers in South Sulawesi are struggling to meet the demands and quality standards of a growing seaweed market owing to challenges accessing capital and quality production input, and low levels of fin ancial literacy.    
Ambassador MacArthur met with  men and women small producers who shared their experiences and hopes for economic success through their co-operatives. They explained there are many species of seaweed and described the washing, tidying and drying steps involved in post harvesting.

Ms. Syamsiah, a farmer from Bonto Lebang, says she hopes the project will build the capacity of seaweed farmers in her area to be more competitive. Mr. Hamzah, a young farmer from Lamalaka, says farmers need to improve the quality of the seed they use. "By having better quality, we can increase the price we are paid for our seaweed."  

 "Ambassador MacArthur's visit and attention to the project is most appreciated, "says CCA Executive Director Michael Casey. "There are opportunities here to link small scale producers to
domestic and international markets through co-operatives and other private sector suppliers and processors. We will work collaboratively with our partners and local researchers to develop quality seeds and introduce climate-smart farming methods that will improve the quality and quantity of their production. More importantly, we are helping farmers to sustain
Visiting a seaweed farm in Lamalaka Village.
improved farming practices and add value to their crops through co-operative enterprises they own and manage themselves."
The Ambassador's visit coincided with a training event to explain the project to local farmers and leaders. He commented favourably on the equal participation of women and men at the training event. Before leaving, the Ambassador thanked producers and community leaders for sharing about seaweed production and the project, and wished his hosts every success.
INVEST Co-op Indonesia is part of a four-country program designed to improve the livelihoods of small producers by increasing their production, productivity and access to markets and financial services through integrated production, financing, and marketing co-operatives.  The INVEST Co-op Program will benefit an estimated 69,800 women and men directly, and 269,000 indirectly in Indonesia, Malawi, Mongolia and Peru. It is being implemented by the Canadian Co-operative Association and local co-operatives and stakeholders in each of the four countries and is made possible with funding from Global Affairs Canada and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF).
CANADIAN CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION (CCA) is a not-for-profit co-operative incorporated under the Canada Co-operatives Act and which operates as a subsidiary of Canada's national association of co-operatives and credit unions, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC).  CCA's mission is to establish and grow co-operatives, credit unions, and community-based organizations to reduce poverty, build sustainable livelihoods, and improve civil society in less developed countries. CCA proudly delivers programs for the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF), a nationally registered charity which helps communities fight poverty and create more secure lives through community-owned co-ops. 
 THE CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION OF CANADA (CDF) is a registered charitable organization that works to alleviate poverty by building and strengthening financial and non-financial co-ops in Canada and around the world. CDF works with the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and other organizations to implement development projects on its behalf.