Since opening in August, the Bejo Allium Training Center in Indonesia has successfully educated four groups of 25 to 30 participants. At the center, Bejo teaches farmers to cultivate shallots from seed. Course groups also include traders, local officials and technical high school students.

Shallots grown from sets, according to local tradition, suffer from considerable disease pressure and frequent crop failures. Shallot seed, by contrast, is virus- and disease-free and gives crops a clean start. Growing shallots from seed requires different skills and cultivation practices, but done correctly it brings farmers higher yields and healthier produce as well as higher income and lower risk.

Bejo’s training course combines agricultural theory with practical sessions in the field. Participants learn about shallot sowing, fertilization, irrigation, harvesting and storage. “We received so much positive feedback from the farmers in Sumbawa, and there was a real eagerness to learn more, which is very encouraging for us,” says Agung Pratama, Bejo’s representative head in Indonesia. “We’ll continue to invest in sharing knowledge with them and helping them to build more successful businesses.”

The Bejo/De Groot en Slot breeding team has developed the hybrid shallot variety Maserati, which is particularly suitable for Indonesia’s tropical climate. Our Tropix variety also performs well there. Switching to these varieties can increase yields by up to 50%. Shallot consumption is very high in Indonesia. In addition, Bejo is also trialling new varieties of other crops, including cabbage and carrots, with farmers in Indonesia.

Through the training center and breeding program, Bejo aims to contribute to the development of agriculture in southeast Asia, thereby improving local cultivation methods and increasing farmers’ yields. This will lead directly to greater prosperity for them and their families. This year we opened a representative office in Indonesia, which employs three specialists who are working to further help realise these ambitions.

Bejo’s program promoting shallot cultivation from seed receives support from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the Australian government’s PRISMA scheme. We implement the program locally with De Groot en Slot and Indonesian partners.

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To learn more about Bejo’s programs supporting smallholder farmers around the world, see Bejo's support for small holder farmers

For more on our shallot program in Indonesia, see Bejo shallots