"Firstly, our attention had only been focused on the efforts to increase agriculture and fisheries products at the 'on farm' level. We never touch the 'off farm', especially the post-production side," he remarked at the Presidential Offices in Jakarta, Tuesday.
President Jokowi made the statement during a meeting themed "Economic Strengthening Acceleration in the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector," in which the attendees also comprised Vice President Ma'ruf Amin and cabinet ministers.
The president expressed belief that farmers and fishermen should go beyond on-farm activities to off farm through providing added value to farming and fisheries activities by processing their products as well as developing agriculture and fisheries-based businesses.
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"Secondly, in order to get to the off farm activities, farmers and fishermen need financing schemes and coaching," he pointed out.
In terms of financial schemes, the government has already established a people's business credit scheme (KUR) wherein the budget ceiling will be Rp190 trillion in 2020, with a six-percent interest.
"I have ordered the KUR to be designed with special schemes per cluster, so that it meets the needs of the grace period for the production of agricultural and fisheries clusters," he stated.
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However, he highlighted that financing schemes must be followed by coaching for adequate financial management along with preparing good packaging and branding as well as sound marketing.
"Thirdly, we must start encouraging our micro, small, medium businesses; our farmers; our fishermen, who have been moving on small-scale economies to join in and collaborate with large groups or corporations, so that they have a larger economic scale," he remarked.
Thus, farmers and fishermen can be more effective in obtaining raw materials, accessing working capital and investment, and making efforts to market their products, so they can enter the national and global supply chain.
The three notes were highlighted by President Jokowi taking into account that the fisheries sector has an important and strategic role in improving the welfare of Indonesians.
"I see fisheries and agriculture as very important and strategic sectors. This is not only because they provide food for more than 260 million Indonesians but also since they are able to accommodate a large workforce and contribute significantly to improving the people's welfare and reducing poverty," he stated.
Hence, he called for breakthrough steps for the two sectors for broader growth and becoming a driving force of the nation’s economy.
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