Solidaridad opens new office in Indonesia with Keling Kumang Group

“Borneo with no poverty” is the guiding vision behind Solidaridad’s cooperation and expansion in Indonesia. To support that goal, Solidaridad South & South-East Asia opened a branch office in Sintang in March together with long-time partner, the Keling Kumang Group.

Director Chattopadhyay and Chairman Mikael open the doors to a sustainable future in West Kalimantan.

The inauguration was carried out with a modest ribbon cutting ceremony by the Managing Director of Solidaridad South & South-East Asia, Shatadru Chattopadhyay and the Chairman of the Keling Kumang Group Board, Mikael.

Signaling long-term cooperation

This ceremony was also attended by the Solidaridad Country Manager for Indonesia, Kulbir Mehta, the Keling Kumang Group Managing Director, Yohanez RJ, and Solidaridad staff from both Jakarta and Sintang offices.

Yohanez RJ expressed enthusiasm for continuing long-term cooperation with Solidaridad in Sintang. “I congratulate Solidaridad for opening the second office here. We welcome this initiative and hopefully the cooperation will continue for the next 50, even 100 years, from now…,” he said.

Staffed by Solidaridad experts

The new Solidaridad office in Indonesia will be staffed with a project coordinator, sustainability experts and field trainers. Billy Hasbi is the project coordinator who will oversee Solidaridad projects in the West Kalimantan area.

Bambang Marius is a palm oil field officer in SIntang who will support Hasbi and maintain communication with multi-stakeholder partners on the ground. He will also monitor field progress against targets set with different partners in the Solidaridad network. Eftania Marina and Hilda Dea Peresi are trainers for the financial literacy programme, while Linda Wahyuni and Edi Dastra are trainers for the farmers’ field school programme.

Supporting socio-economic developments

Solidaridad partner Perkumpulan Keling Kumang Group (KKG) is a major savings bank and mutual credit provider for oil palm farmers in Sintang. It was founded in 2014 in Tapang Sambas-Kemayau Village, Sekadau district to support socio-economic improvements for the local population. KKG operates in six districts and one capital city, namely Sintang, Kapuas Hulu, Sekadau, Melawi, Sanggau, Ketapang districts and Pontianak city. There are over 164,000 direct beneficiaries of KKG programmes.

Improving access to sustainable finance

Solidaridad carefully selects its potential partners to carry out local projects. Overall, smallholders with good access to finance score better in terms of fertilizer use, the use of hybrid planting material and they had higher yields. This suggests that access to finance has an impact agricultural intensification. Smallholders with better access to finance also had larger total landholdings, which may indicate that access to finance also promotes expansion.