Seafood is the main protein source for more than 200 million Indonesians. Indonesians consume more than 50kg/person per year compared with Australia’s 15kg/person per year.
Seafood, from fisheries and aquaculture, is linked both to food security, (particularly for many impoverished coastal communities); but also as a pathway to prosperity for rapidly developing Indonesia (through sustainable production, improved quality and market access).
Related to this, Monash University has recently won three capacity building programs through the Australian Government’s Australia Awards Indonesia program: two on Sustainable Fisheries Management and one on Seafood Product Development.
Collectively, the programs (funded at more $1 million) bring emerging leaders (25 for each course), from Indonesia’s government (e.g. Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries) and the private sector, to Australia for capacity building programs.
“Indonesia has abundant aquatic resources but these are threatened through destructive fishing practices and unregulated fisheries,” said Program Designer/Leader Dr Paul McShane (Faculty of Arts).
“There is an opportunity to change behaviour of vulnerable coastal communities through education, research and development. We bring an interdisciplinary program that focuses on sustainable economic development. This aligns to Indonesia’s aspirations of sustainable prosperity for its people”, Dr McShane said.
Monash’s recently established Food Innovation Centre (FIC) is involved in the Seafood Product Development program with many participants from the private sector.
“Cold chain management is underdeveloped in Indonesia and improved supply chain management will yield substantial economic dividends particularly with an emerging middle class in Indonesia demanding higher quality seafood. Australia has low volume but high value seafood in contrast to Indonesia” said Director of FIC, Professor Nicolas Georges.
“This is a good collaborative opportunity for FIC to link best practice in food technology innovation to human resource development to Indonesia,” Professor Georges said.
The development of these Indonesian programs has been greatly assisted by the Monash Indonesia Representative Office (MIRO), recently established in Jakarta.
Supported by Monash’s Global Engagement (Sustainable Fisheries Management) and the Faculty of Science (Seafood Product Development), the capacity building programs include interactive workshops and field visits (including in Port Lincoln, Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney). They will conclude in 2017.
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