Newest AgResults Prize Competition Aims to Strengthen Indonesia’s Aquaculture Sector

December 17, 2020

aerial view of Indonesia rice paddy fields

On December 17, the AgResults Indonesia Aquaculture Challenge Project, which uses a prize competition to engage the private sector and encourage smallholder farmers to adopt on-farm technologies, officially launched. A virtual event brought together public and private stakeholders from the country’s aquaculture sector to recognize the project’s potential.

The webinar began with short speeches from Gemi Triastuti, Directorate General Secretary of Aquaculture at the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and Dr. Dicky P. Simorangkir, CEO of WWF-Indonesia.

“The goal of the AgResults Indonesia Aquaculture Challenge Project to support Indonesian smallholder farmers aligns with the government’s objective to improve aquaculture farmers’ welfare,” said Gemi Triastuti. “This project should also be complemented with fish and shrimp seeds that meet our national aquaculture product standard through INDOGAP, a national certification system planned to launch in April 2021. With this competition, I expect more technology innovators can provide more options on high-quality aerators and auto-feeders at affordable prices for smallholder farmers.”

Following these opening remarks, several technical and industry experts from the Agroindustry Technology Center and UNIDO highlighted current technological challenges that aquaculture farmers in Indonesia face and reflecting on the benefits of IndoGAP certification for hatcheries.

“The fish and shrimp aquaculture businesses in Indonesia are dominated by smallholder farmers, and the rising demand (for their product) becomes both an opportunity and challenge for these farmers,” said Aquaculturist Coco Kokarkin. “It is time for smallholder farmers to use aquaculture technologies that can make the job easier and improve production.”

Project Manager WWF-Indonesia then presented the competition’s categories, prize structure, and timeline. The project uses a Pay-for-Results prize competition structure to overcome challenges of feed cost and efficiency, water quality, and the quality of fish stocks — all of which constrain productivity and profitability. By providing a prize for each aerator or feeder sold or rented, the competition aims to boost farmer income and strengthen aquaculture value chain relationships between input providers and farmers. These goals align with AgResults’ broader objectives to improve linkages and transform market systems.

In attendance were aerator and auto-feeder technology companies, startup companies, university and financial institution representatives, and a range of government officials. A short informational video about the project rounded out the session, after which potential competitors had a chance to ask questions.

“We are excited to partner with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and WWF Indonesia to launch and run this aquaculture challenge,” said Justin Kosoris of AgResults. “This competition has the potential to help thousands of smallholder aquaculture farmers increase productivity and improve livelihoods.”

Over four years, the project is expected to reach 14,000 aquaculture farmers, increasing their income by $12 million and boosting production by 24,000 MT over current levels. By increasing their access to and use of on-farm technologies, smallholder aquaculture farmers can improve their financial standing and their food security — and the sector can grow stronger overall.

For more information, visit the AgResults Indonesia Aquaculture Challenge Project page. Please note that this page will continue to be updated through early 2021.

The project is part of AgResults, a $152 million collaborative initiative between the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank Group that uses prize competitions to incentivize the private sector to overcome market barriers and create lasting change. Through AgResults’ Pay-for-Results model, these competitions encourage actors to achieve predetermined results thresholds and quality for monetary prizes.

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