Empowering Tobacco Farmers Community through Community Learning Group (CLG)
PT HM Sampoerna Tbk
Sampoerna has reached more than 4,913 people in 13 targeted areas from four provinces. The program has managed to facilitate the establishment of 11 CLGs which are dedicated to build the beneficiaries’ capacity in learning about good agriculture practices
INTRODUCTIONThe “Sampoerna untuk Indonesia” (SUI) initiative aims to improve society’s quality of life in areas where it operates, including tobacco growing areas. Being one of the key stakeholders in cigarette industry, Sampoerna is of the view that tobacco farmers and workers have not yet reached their full potential due mostly to their limited access to information and lack of exposure to empowerment programs.
To help address this Sampoerna (together with STAPA Center-a non-profit organization based in Pasuruan, East Java) developed a program in 2011 called “Empowering Tobacco Farmers Community through CLG”. This program provides a comprehensive approach in resolving substantial local issues faced by tobacco growing communities, such as agricultural and labor practices, lack of information and education, economic, and gender equality. Through CLG program, Sampoerna has exercised and encouraged the creation of productive community organization. To date it has reached as far as 13 areas across Indonesia.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYThe CLG program has been successfully implemented in Jember, Jombang, Pamekasan, Lumajang, Probolinggo, Nganjuk, Sumenep, Banyuwangi, Ponorogo, Blitar, Rembang, Lombok, and Lampung. These communities are where the majority of Sampoerna’s tobacco is sourced.
The program is not only intended to cater the communities’ need of finding ways to generate additional income. It is also most importantly designed to help them empower themselves by changing their paradigm, attitude, and behavior towards Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP). Adoption of GAP and ALP increases community awareness of responsible farming, including the effort to progressively eliminate any forms of child labor abuses and achieve safe and fair working conditions on farms.
Public-private collaboration has been the key in delivering this successful program. Through a comprehensive mapping, Sampoerna managed to gather all relevant stakeholders, the civil society organizations, local government agencies, farmer groups, tobacco suppliers, and local community leaders to jointly assess the situation and develop the necessary solutions.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTFrom the start to the present, Sampoerna has reached more than 4,913 people in 13 targeted areas from four provinces. The program managed to facilitate the establishment of 11 CLGs which are dedicated to build the beneficiaries’ capacity in learning about good agriculture practices such as integrated pest management, crop management, variety management and integrity, environment sustainability, product integrity, and agricultural labor practices codes. In relation to the agricultural labor practices, Sampoerna also successfully carried out the “Education For All” Seminar focusing on children’s right to education and the risk of child labor in each targeted location.
Following the program completion, the beneficiaries have shown significant understanding about the importance of GAP and ALP. The initiatives helped them improve their knowledge about productive and safe farming, and in the process it helped reduce the number of children involvement in the unsuited works in the farm for children. Productive activities, such as communal waste banks, have also been established in four areas as a promising additional income generator.
FUTURE DIRECTIONIn the effort of adding values into the CLG initiative and considering Indonesia’s vast farming areas, Sampoerna is going to continue the program for several years to come. It will also be accompanied with new innovations in line with the spirit of the program. These innovations are, among others, providing meaningful extracurricular or after school activities and scholarships for the children, and also to create and implement improvement plans for each farm and address the root causes and change practices that do not meet ALP requirements. Sampoerna’s commitment to the well-being of the community is as important as investing in the future business. To meet this end, Sampoerna has a dedicated contribution department with the task of planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating all of SUI programs. The main key driver in implementation of the contribution programs is a collaboration between all relevant stakeholders. Sampoerna’s social investment is upheld to promote the community empowerment and development in holistic, institutional, and sustainable ways.
PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk (Sampoerna) is one of the leading tobacco companies in Indonesia and is part of Philip Morris International Inc. Employing 29,700 people, Sampoerna operates 6 manufacturing facilities and 110 sales offices throughout Indonesia, and it has been in business for more than one century.