Jakarta (ANTARA) - The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) 2023, under Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship in 2023, is supporting the strengthening of food security through the empowerment of farmers and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

"Our legacy program is the Inclusive Closed-Loop Model for Agricultural Products where large companies help farmers, so that they become the mentors," ASEAN-BAC Chairman Arsjad Rasjid told the press on the sidelines of the 2023 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) here on Monday.

ABIS, held on September 3-4 in Jakarta, is a side event of the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit that will take place in Jakarta on September 5-7 under Indonesia's chairmanship.

Indonesia is holding the ASEAN chairmanship in 2023 with the theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth." The vision of Indonesia's chairmanship, among others, is to build a resilient, adaptive, and inclusive ASEAN.

Rasjid, who also serves as chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), explained that the legacy project places smallholders at the center of a multi-stakeholder ecosystem led by the private sector.

It encourages multi-stakeholder cooperation that is sustainable and empowers marginal communities, including MSMEs, farmers, and fishing communities, through access to financing, knowledge, technology, and markets to achieve a successful farmer-based food industry and MSME development.

Apart from receiving mentoring and guidance from large companies to increase their productivity, farmers are also provided with access to markets to ensure that their agricultural products sell well.

It is also deemed necessary for farmers to receive financing support from financial institutions to develop their agricultural businesses better, and in turn, improve the welfare of farmers.

Rasjid stated that the ASEAN has a large market, with a population of over 650 million people. Thus, it is hoped that the region's agricultural products can be fully absorbed by the ASEAN market.

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Translator: Martha Herlinawati, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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