• GrowHer

Empowering Women Growers with Digital Technology

Yanty Faradilla has been the owner of a coffee plantation in North Sumatra, Indonesia for the past 11 years.

Her twin passions of agriculture and coffee led her to embark on this journey in 2011, completely unassisted.

From the classroom to the plantation

Formerly an employee at a local university, Yanty decided to dive into the business of coffee, rolled up her sleeves and took over a coffee plantation in Aceh. From growing the crops, harvesting the coffee cherries, and selling the beans, she had to self-learn all areas of coffee production. Her farm is located in Takengon, a town in the highlands of western Sumatra on the shores of Lake Lut Tawar. The area is well-known for the quality of its coffee beans.

A rough start

Things weren’t as smooth sailing as one would imagine, as she ventured into the business with a small capital to acquire land and hire manpower. It was challenging understanding the crops, the erratic weather, the timeliness of harvest and even after a good harvest, she faced more challenges – especially reaching the right buyers at a good price.

Yanty describes herself as a coffee-preneur

Part of the problem was the coffee grading process. Yanty had to send a 1kg sample to the coffee graders, for roasting, grinding, and cupping amongst tasters for a physical report. It was time-consuming and inconvenient.

Digital transformation

In 2020, Yanty signed up with the ProfilePrint Exchange, a B2B platform for enabling growers to get better prices for their produce. The platform is powered by AI technology that uses a 5g sample to identify the unique fingerprints of crops. The platform then provides a quality prediction for the crop. This allows Yanty to get similar results to the physical grading, but her reports are now sent digitally, and she can share the results with potential buyers through an online report. This makes it easier to bypass local buyers (and their lower bids) and sell directly to overseas buyers.

Yanty discovered about ProfilePrint when she participated in the Virtual Future Tea & Coffee Expo and Summit, a digital event that helps connect farmers with buyers from around the world while pandemic travel restrictions are in place. The event greatly streamlined the sales process. Yanty had much more exposure to a global market of buyers, and the buyers could more effectively source their ingredients according to their specific taste profiles.

A positive future ahead

Yanty sees a positive future ahead for her industry, especially as digital technology becomes more accessible and continues to transform the way farmers operate.

Despite her initial challenges, she has a clear vision for the future. She aims to build and fund a coffee corporation in Takengon that focuses on financial support for widow farmers.

She believes that women are key to food production, but many are not fulfilling their potential due to cultural challenges. In her farm, most of the team is made up of widows, who are sole-breadwinners and often have to shoulder coffee beans that make up their own weight, both metaphorically and literally.

A message to other women in agriculture

Her message to all aspiring farmers: Always seek help if you ever need to kickstart a project! You will never know how far you can go if you don’t ask! For more content like this, read Sabrina's story.

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