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APRIL’s Integrated Farming System (IFS) program aims to develop and improve the skills of small-scale farmers who carry out agricultural activities including horticulture, animal husbandry, and fishing.

The program, which is part of APRIL’s Community Development initiatives, provides farmers with training, facilitation and ongoing technical support, with the primary aim of increasing farmers’ incomes from their agricultural activities.

The IFS program, which began in 1999, currently takes place in Indonesia’s Riau province and involves 2,200 farmers, 119 farmer groups, and 1,632 hectares of land.

In 2017, 167 farmers were trained to cultivate farmland under the program, while 57 farmer groups were supported with agricultural materials. So far, 2,200 households have received support for agricultural materials via the IFS.

Farmers who are selected to be part of the IFS are often members of farmer groups which are recognized by the Indonesian government, and who not only own their own farming land, but who possess a robust interest in farming.

Typically, horticulture farmers receive seeds, fertilizers, and farming equipment from APRIL in addition to assistance and monitoring of their farms by the company.

APRIL also provides baby calves to animal husbandry farmers. The company provides assistance to the farmers to rear the animals, including providing regular medical checks and treatments for the cattle.

Those involved in the fishing industry – including fishermen and pond fish farmers – are also included in APRIL’s IFS program. Pond fish farmers may receive fish and fish food, while fishermen receive fishing equipment such as fishing nets.

Farmers who take part in the program not only acquire more knowledge with training and subsequent income from farming, they also have networking opportunities such as through group meetings where they are able to share their opinions.

At the moment, APRIL conducts all main IFS activities at its IFS Training Centre. Besides being a place where farmers gather for training, discussions and consultations about their small and medium businesses, the training centre is also where fruit seeds and plants for the IFS farmers’ use are produced, and where they can experiment with hydroponic plants (which are cultivated by using water and no soil).

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