"The Indonesia Food Innovation is aimed at encouraging innovation and business development of SMEs, especially in the food sector," the ministry's Director General of SME and Various Industry, Gati Wibawaningsih, stated at the launch of IFI 2020 held virtually here on Tuesday.
Wibawaningsih remarked that the IFI will accelerate business development of food products of SMEs and support startups in the sector to expand their businesses.
The program will lay emphasis on product innovation and the utilization of local raw materials to encourage SMEs to utilize the profuse supply of local resources, she noted.
SMEs in the food and beverage sector have played a notable role in empowering the people.
Based on the ministry's data, some 43.41 percent of the total SMEs in the country, or 1.86 million, are engaged in the food and beverage sector and absorb 4.11 million workers.
However, several of them have encountered various problems, including working capital constraints, unprofessional management, quality standard issues, business legality, and lack of product innovation.
Scores of other SMEs also encounter external problems of supply uncertainty, the emergence of new competitors and novel products, as well as an unstable market demand.
"Hence, SMEs must prepare themselves. They have to adapt and create innovative products based on the market trend for both the export and domestic market," Wibawaningsih noted.
The IFI 2020 will select eligible participants to partake in the Food Camp Program wherein they will be trained and mentored by professionals to hone their capabilities both in terms of the technical aspects and business toward the realization of modern SMEs in the food industry.
Participants will be segregated into the categories of intermediate product and end product. In both categories, the first winner will receive Rp40 million in cash, while the one coming second will be offered Rp25 million, and the third place holder will get Rp15 million.
Winners will also get the opportunity to scale-up their businesses through exclusive coaching and mentoring, the facility of HACCP certification, and other certificates deemed necessary to boost competitiveness.
The winners will also have the opportunity to participate in various exhibitions, investor matchmaking, and obtain the membership of global e-commerce.
To participate in the IFI 2020, applicants can register through the website kemenperin.IFI.go.id. Further information on the program can be obtained on the instagram account @ifi.kemenperin or @ditjenikma. Related news: Industry Ministry tells SMEs to focus on attractive packaging
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