Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (Kemenkop UKM) actively participates in strengthening the digitalization and downstreaming of agricultural cooperatives by attending a forum facilitated by Vietnam as the host.

"In the context of modernizing cooperatives in Indonesia, we encourage cooperatives to adopt technology and digital transformation in running their businesses," Assistant Deputy for Cooperative Reform and Partnerships of Kemenkop UKM Bagus Rahman stated as quoted in his official statement in Jakarta, Tuesday.

Rahman remarked that the 30th ASEAN Centre for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives Board (ACEDAC) and the 24th ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Agricultural Cooperatives (ASWGAC), as annual meetings of agricultural cooperative movement actors and policy makers dealing with agricultural cooperatives in the ASEAN region, were assessed in line with the business development program in Indonesia through cooperatives.

Rahman noted that the downstream and digitalization program of agricultural cooperatives in Indonesia is one of the focuses of the Kemenkop UKM program and is the government's effort to modernize cooperatives.

"The government is encouraging cooperatives to have access to capital and global markets by encouraging their businesses to meet industrial scale," he stated.

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On the occasion, the Kemenkop UKM invited the Al-Itifaq Cooperative as one of the modern cooperatives in Indonesia that has implemented a business model for the downstreaming of agricultural products and community-based empowerment.

Al-Itifaq Cooperative acts as an aggregator and distributor for agricultural products manufactured by its members. Currently, the model has been transformed wherein cooperatives facilitate their members to gain access to funding, certification, capacity building, and value-added processing of the agricultural products manufactured.

The meeting also discussed various initiatives of the agricultural cooperative movement as well as cooperative development programs from various ASEAN countries as well as several partners, such as the ASEAN Foundation, Asia Farmer Association (AFA), the Government of Japan, and the Non-Timber Forest Product Exchange Program (NTFP-EP).

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira Riswan, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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