Belitung Regency is one of the pepper producing regions in Indonesia. Most of the pepper produced in this area is white pepper. Based on the statistical data of the Department of Food Security and Agriculture - Belitung Regency, there are more than 10,000 families who are currently living as pepper farmers in Belitung Regency.
On Saturday, February 23, 2019, the International Pepper Community in collaboration with the Government of Belitung Regency and the Department of Food Security and Agriculture of Belitung Regency held an "IPC Indonesian Farmers App Workshop". The event, held at BW Inn Hotel - Belitung, was opened by the Regent of Belitung Regency, Mr. H. Sahani Saleh, S.Sos. On this occasion the Regent of Belitung said that farmers needed to know about IPC Indonesian Farmers App because this application had many features that would help farmers. In addition, the Executive Director of the International Pepper Community, Mrs. Hoang Thi Lien also attended and briefly explained the advantages of the IPC Indonesia Farmers App.
The event was attended by around 100 participants of farmers, village headman, and agricultural extension workers. In addition, representatives from Belitung Regency's State Own Enterprise, representatives from the Indonesian Spice and Medicinal Crops Institute (BALITTRO), representatives of PT. Aman Jaya, and Verstegen were also present at this event.
At this workshop, the IPC explained the features of the IPC Indonesian Farmers App, and continued with the presentation by Dr. Sukamto from BALITTRO regarding Good Agricultural Practices in pepper cultivation. Dr. Sukamto said that environmentally friendly agriculture practices such as the use of biological agents (bacteria and fungi) as biofertilizers and biopesticides ought to be implemented by Belitung pepper farmers. Pepper produced by using environmentally friendly techniques would have good quality so that it would be more easily absorbed by international and domestic markets. Furthermore, representatives from PT. Aman Jaya elaborated the minimum pepper quality required by international buyers whilst representatives from Verstegen explained the Spice-Up program.
At the end of the event, an enthusiastic discussion led by the Vice Regent of Belitung Regency was held. The discussion elaborated to farmers the importance of maintaining the quality of the pepper which would benefit famers in gaining higher prices for their product.