With agriculture and agribusiness identified as key to the LED interventions in Pasuruan, Masuda, the Secretary of the LED Forum in Tutur and manager of a local flower association, Condido, was keen for the Forum to be involved in activities to facilitate the growth of the local floriculture sector. For many years, Tutur has produced a range of flowers and plants for local buyers, however, Masuda felt that this market could be expanded.
The LED Forum facilitated an introduction to the Dutch association of retired professionals – PUM – in April 2008. Following two visits from PUM experts and participation in a short study tour to the Netherlands, Masuda has managed to speed up the process to produce new products and dramatically reduce the damage rate of seedlings. Now only 2-5% of his seedlings are wasted in each production line in comparison to the 30% he used to loose using old technologies.
Masuda’s flower production processes and ability to market to a larger audience have significantly improved. “Going to the Netherlands to meet experts and learn about modern production methods was invaluable. We now know how to use new technologies to improve the quality of our seeds and cuttings.”
Having participated in flower trade show events in Rotterdam, Masuda has also been able to establish business links with international buyers and wholesalers. In December 2009, Condido will export 10,000 seedlings including orchids and banana plantlets to the Netherlands as an initial trial. It is expected that within four months Masuda will begin coordinating exports of 100,000 tropical plant seedlings per week to the Netherlands. SEDACO, an international buyer from the Netherlands, has committed itself to providing on-going technical assistance to Masuda and his staff to meet quota demands in the future.
In the short term, this substantial business expansion will create over 20 new employment and training opportunities for young school graduates in Pasuruan. “Many young and inexperienced people are finding it hard to find jobs locally. We hope this growth will be able to provide more opportunities to our young people to stay and work in the area.”