In alignment with Tani Group mission of improving the agricultural industry in Indonesia, TaniFund expanded its coverage into fisheries, by funding a project by local fish farmers under IWA-KE association. The projects for both the pangasius (its meat is normally known as dory) and the gourami successfully raised IDR 1.7 billion from the public, with the project term of one (1) year whereas return and principal repayment will be done by the end of the term.

In addition to that, TaniFund also carry the mission of being impactful, may it be socially, environmentally or both. This value of impact is translated in the kind of projects that TaniFund chose to put in its platform and introduced to the potential investors. TaniFund and IWA-KE share this value: the value of deeper and more sustainable improvement of the broader society.

 

IWA-KE, a new form of ethical fish-farming

IWA-KE is an association of fish breeders located in Ciseeng, Bogor, who pioneered ethical and  sustainable fish cultivation method. The whole concept was aimed to produce fishes with better quality: consumers will receive products that are safe to consume and healthy, in addition to the guaranteed delicious taste. This quality can be achieved through the breeding method. There are few differences between the conventional breeding and IWA-KE breeding features.

First, the size and the depth of the pond. IWA-KE’s ponds are 12m in diameter and 2m deep, significantly larger than common ponds. The ponds size will affect the growth of the fish. With the space to grow, it will increase the chance of the optimum fish growth. Furthermore, the bigger pond will ensure the stability of the temperature of the water because fluctuating water temperature will cause stress to the fish. The deeper ponds ensure that long sun exposure will not reach the bottom of the pond, that will also limit the growth of algae and other organisms that will potentially harm the ecosystem of the pond.

Aerial view of IWA-KE’s ponds

 

Second, the food. Similar with the ecosystem, the food intake of the fish will determine the quality of the meat. Fishes that are fed with flakes, pellets or any other food specifically made for fishes, will produce tastier and healthier meat. However, most fish farmers feed the fish with a combination of leftover human food and, sometimes, organic waste because they are relatively cheaper. IWA-KE, on the other hand, only feed their fishes with pellets to maintain the quality of the harvest.

Third, the sewage system. To reduce the unpleasant taste and smell of the fish meat, IWA-KE designed their ponds so that the waste from the fish can be discharge out of the ponds. By disposing the waste produced by the fishes on daily basis, the water in which the fishes are breed becomes cleaner in comparison to ponds without sewage system. This will affect the cleanliness of the fish and, in turn, the quality of the meats produced.

Fourth, the natural antibiotics. The using of chemical antibiotics on fish has actually been banned by the government, but the enforcement of its practice is still loose. Instead of using the chemical ones, IWA-KE choose the natural ones, a variety of herbs, e.g. ginger, turmeric, papaya leaves and garlic. Antibiotics play an important role to assure the immune system of the fish. It makes fishes more resistant against infections and disease, also improve their life expectancy.

IWA-KE is determined to provide healthy meat for their consumers, which is observable from the way they take serious care of all the factors above. The quality control of their products is integrated throughout the cultivation process. IWA-KE assured the ethical way of their practice, both for the fish and for their customers.

 

Broader social impact

Along with the commitment of providing healthy fish for the customers, IWA-KE also exercise socially beneficial practice. During the harvest season, the housewives in the neighbourhood (of IWA-KE’s location) will overtake the post-harvest activities, such as cutting, smoking and packing, and IWA-KE will provide financial compensation for them. By earning extra money, the local housewives can contribute to their household financials.

This provides further implication for the society. TaniFund, through the crowdfunding, helps IWA-KE to build more ponds. When the harvest season comes, the ponds will produce more fish and provide more jobs for more housewives in the area. A snowball effect.

Furthermore, IWA-KE is eager to share their knowledge with anyone who is interested. Not only knowledge on how to ethically breed fish, but also other things about fisheries, for example: how to properly kill fish and industrial insights.

This project with IWA-KE is one of the examples of Tani Group’s dedication in creating and maintaining social impact in their business activities. Empowered local farmers, connecting farms with people, together growing the future.