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Taiwan-assisted agricultural project a huge success in Indonesia

JAKARTA -- A “One Village One Product” agricultural project undertaken by the R.O.C. (Taiwan) Technical Mission in Indonesia and the Indonesian government has achieved considerable success, an Indonesian official said.

Under the project, the technical mission has helped Bangli and Badung regencies on the island of Bali to successfully develop oranges and asparagus as featured products in their localities, said Syarief Hasan, Indonesia's minister of cooperatives and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Hasan praised the project at the opening of the SMESCO Festival, an annual celebration of cooperatives and small- and medium-sized enterprises in Indonesia.

At the celebration, the technical mission said it taught farmers how to cultivate oranges and process and package orange products. Legends of local kings and queens were incorporated into the themes of the product designs to build consumer interest.

As for asparagus, since Badung had no record of commercial cultivation of the vegetable, the technical mission focused on creating a big enough area to grow asparagus that would achieve economies of scale.

It also helped farmers cultivate and manage asparagus crops, jointly store crops, package and jointly market different grades of products, and establish marketing channels.

Since the “One Village One Project” project was launched in 2011, local farmers' profits from asparagus cultivation have been three to 11 times the earnings from traditional crops.

Asparagus is now sold to supermarkets and hotels around Bali and even to Jakarta and Singapore, earning the project high praise from the Indonesian central and local governments, according to Taiwan's technical mission.

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