Anderson Tanoto is one man who believes that rural Indonesia can have a lasting impact on the country’s economy, if provided with active and responsible development initiatives.
The RGE Director has shown how a small village can quickly become a powerhouse of economic growth, while outlining the steps that need to be made on a national level for achieving similar results in as many areas as possible.
New Opportunities for Rural Indonesia
Kerinci used to be a small village of only 200 households before APRIL Group – one of the RGE Group’s most successful branches – has brought a true transformation to the area, improving the infrastructure and opening up job opportunities for more than 90,000 people, and improving the education in the area until Kerinci has become a modern industry center with a population of more than 100,000.
Mr. Tanoto showed how the country’s industry has changed considerably since the 1970s, after crude oil prices crashed and is now expanded to areas such as palm oil, pulp and paper, and textiles.
Under these circumstances, agriculture has started playing an incredibly important part in the economy, and according to Mr. Tanoto’s vision, it has even more to offer. Through improved investments in skilled human capital achieved by offering better learning capabilities to locals, and through an expansion in the manufacturing sector, the country can truly experience better employment and accelerated economic growth.
Citing the example of Asian Agri, one of the most successful companies to partner smallholders in the palm oil industry, Mr. Tanoto has also outlined the importance of private-public partnerships replacing government-lead rural development strategies to achieve improved economic growth.
Pointing out that companies can enjoy numerous economic benefits from working toward training and benefiting people in the communities they operate in, Anderson Tanoto also showed how the collaboration with smallholders can be a revolutionary new trend that could improve land yield, create new jobs and even reduce the cost of supplies.