24 Oct Improving Blue Swimming Crab Fishers’ Welfare in Lampung through Women Empowerment
Blue swimming crab (BSC) fishers in Indonesia, though they produced more than 50,000 metric tonnes of BSC volume in 2020, constantly fight to make a living wage. They face low prices and competition from small-scale and traditional fishers. Encouragingly, however, the empowerment of women fishers has been shown to improve the welfare of coastal households. To facilitate the acceleration of the local economy, CTC recently provided a series of trainings on the BSC ecology, Business Model Canvas (BMC) and basic quality and packaging of food products for women fishers in Lampung.
The training took place in Kuala Teladas Village and the Sungai Burung Village on October 14-24, 2021. The trainings were attended by 27 women participants (12 participants from Kuala Teladas and 15 participants from Sungai Burung). These fishing villages are on the east coast of the Tulang Bawang District, four hours from the capital of Bandar Lampung City. Tulang Bawang is one of the highest BSC producing area in Lampung, aside from the Lampung Tengah and Lampung Timur Districts.
During the training session, trainers from CTC and the Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MAF) Agency of Lampung Province presented various materials regarding the basic ecology of the BSC, including the life cycle of the species and potential threats to it, and the environmentally friendly fishing methods to manage the sustainability of BSC stock in the wild. The training also emphasized the importance of marine conservation to protect the BSC, and how habitat loss leads to population decline and extinction.
For the business training segment, CTC asked all participants to discuss and analyze existing small enterprises in their respective villages using nine elements of BMC: customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationship, revenue streams, key resource, key activities, key partnership and cost culture. In Kuala Teladas, for example, there are women groups who already produce crackers made from leftover fish and BSC meat. However, they only sell the products inside the village due to the limited production and lack of license from related authorities.
Lastly, all participants also learned about the food hygiene and packaging, as well as improving ingredients and nutrition. The MAF Agency of Lampung Province promised to assist these women fisher’s groups in accessing capital loans from local banks or other governmental bodies. Participants were also advised to form a joint small enterprise to make it easier for the local government to help them obtain food licenses and other legal aspects. Through these improvements, women fishers will be more empowered in improving the local economy.
Most training participants felt that the training provided new knowledge and skills in product and business development. Participants also committed to run some action plans in the future to realize the drafted business canvas. Some participants in the Sungai Burung Village are enthusiastic to expand their products from only making fish-based crackers to creating dried BSC paste, floss and handicraft from BSC carapaces and other shells. Through the empowerment of women fishers in Lampung, it is hoped that local coastal residents will be able to generate alternative income during the low catch season of BSC, so that the species will not be overexploited.
Photos by Aulia/CTC & Wienda/CTC