We began working in Indonesia in 2005, following the devastating Asian tsunami. Initially, we provided funding and technical support to help microfinance institutions extend their services to Aceh, the hardest hit province in Indonesia, and later began working with institutions outside the province. In 2007, we helped create a network of micro-entrepreneurs who provided telecommunication services to their neighbors. That work also gave birth to TaroWorks™, a mobile-based tool that helps social enterprises and nonprofit organizations manage their field operations.
Though economic growth over the last 15 years has benefited many Indonesians, nearly 40 percent remain in poverty and there is huge income inequality. Poverty is concentrated in rural areas, where agriculture and low-end service sector jobs predominate.
Drawing on our experience in both financial services and technology in Indonesia, we are working with partners to improve the livelihoods of Indonesia’s cocoa farmers using digital technology. Currently, there are at least one million cocoa farmers who do not produce enough to support their families.
We are piloting a program that provides training and advice to help cocoa farmers improve sustainable farming practices and ultimately triple their productivity and increase their incomes.