The South Kalimantan Forestry Office (Dishut Kalsel), in collaboration with GGGI, held a capacity building event, “Developing Profitable Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) Businesses,” on September 20-23, 2022, in Banjar Baru, South Kalimantan.
The event aimed to enhance the utilization of NTFPs and equip members of Social Forestry Business Groups (KUPS). The event was attended by extension officers and community members/KUPS from the Forest Management Units (FMUs) of Cantung, Tabalong, and Balangan.
According to Government Regulation No. 23 of 2021, the utilization of NTFPs is an effective way to improve community welfare and curb deforestation. NTFPs can be utilized through various forms of businesses, such as area utilization, NTFP utilization, environmental services utilization, or forestry multi-businesses to optimize the potential of forest areas in protected and production forests.
Participants in this event gained knowledge and skills related to business aspects, market information, marketing, and group organization management, which can help develop advanced and sustainable NTFP businesses. Additionally, participants were introduced to the Revolving Fund Facility for forest farming businesses through a session led by a resource person from the Indonesia Environment Fund (IEF). The event concluded with pitching practice by farmers and extension officers to obtain Revolving Fund financing from IEF or loans from other parties.
Enhancing the capacity of FMUs and KUPS managers will strengthen their ability to promote innovative solutions and concepts in developing sustainable value chains for NTFP products. The Head of Community Empowerment, Extension, and Social Forestry of South Kalimantan, I Gede Arya Subhkati, stated that Dishut Kalsel is promoting a Multi-Party Financing Collaboration Program to overcome business obstacles and turn them into business opportunities. Dishut Kalsel hopes that at least one or two types of flagship products will emerge as potential NTFP businesses from South Kalimantan. Therefore, he welcomed GGGI’s support through this training, which can increase knowledge and motivation for social forestry enterprises while introducing the Revolving Fund as a financing option accessible by KUPS to develop their businesses.