The U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Robert O. Blake, Jr. has just concluded a visit to Bali where he was interviewed by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) and took special pains to pay tribute to an East Bali Cashew Nut Factory located in the impoverished village of Ban in Karangasem.
Visiting the remote cashew plantation during his visit to Bali, the Ambassador’s entourage attended the opening ceremony for the factory.
Said Ambasador Blake: “What is so special about the project is it empowers local people. It is a community-based entrepreneurship that is inspiring.”
The factory was established by American Aaron Fishman, his wife and a mall group of supporters. Raw cashews are purchased from surrounding famers, processed by the plants and shipped to overseas buyers,
Targeted to raise local incomes that are currently as low as US$2 a day, the cashew production facility hopes to empower women who will farm and harvest the cashews.
Agricultural extension programs, meanwhile, seek to educate people on how to improve cultivation methods and maximize crops.
Ambassador Blake added:
“I am very proud that a young innovative American has had a brilliant idea to look for this opportunity to help the locals
I am here in Bali for two purposes — to visit East Bali Cashews and to make my first courtesy calls to the provincial and regional governments.”
The Ambassador also used his visit to call on Bali Deputy Governor Ketut Sudikerta, Badung Regent Anak Agung Gde Agung and Denpasar Mayor Ida Bagus Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra.
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