Jakarta (ANTARA) - Farmers in Mojokerto, East Java, have begun reaping benefits of the digital agriculture program with the Screen House or Smart Green House (SGH) technology initiated by the Agriculture Ministry's Agriculture and Facility Directorate General.

SGH is a breakthrough program of the Agriculture Ministry to develop modern agriculture.

With the existence of SGH, agriculture production is expected to increase, and good quality and packaging are projected as the outcomes. This can aid in agriculture being able to penetrate modern and also export markets.

SGH is also part of the efforts to encourage agriculture digitalization, with the end goal of improving agriculture production. In its implementation, agriculture with SGH optimizes digital technology for agriculture development.

SGH will feature smart farming agriculture. Through this, farmers no longer need to go to their land to handle crops.

Cultivation of agricultural crops can be conducted through android application-based smartphone, computer, and laptop connected to the internet.

Several sensors are installed within SGH to monitor temperature, water usage, and light needs. All of them are controlled through a sensor connected to a smartphone or laptop.

Owing to this technology, farmers are protected from the threat of crop failure due to changing weather. In addition, the use of fertilizer and water will become more measured.

In addition to monitoring fertilizing and temperature, the android application-controlled system allows farmers to open and close the roof. This can be controlled anywhere, even at home.

SGH is a building constructed for farming that can be monitored through digitalization. Farming is strongly affected by weather. The existence of SGH helps farmers in Mojokerto, specifically those with organic crops.

Head of the Mojokerto Agriculture Office, Nurul Istiqomah, said this is because organic crops require special handling. SGH facilitates farming these crops and produces results based on farmers' goals.

SGH resolves issues in the agriculture sector by presenting modern agriculture with the implementation of technology and innovation adjusted to the condition of productive activities and needs in the agriculture sector.

This modern agriculture is realized through forward-looking and anticipative innovation development and creation.

SGH is also projected to attract millennials or increase their interest in the agriculture sector, specifically in the horticulture field.

This is because the younger generation lacks interest in farming since it is considered to be far from modernity and unpromising. SGH is expected to attract youngsters or millennial farmers since it digitalizes agriculture.

With the SGH program, more millennial farmers are expected to emerge.

Sustainable agriculture

SGH consists of buildings labeled green house complemented with digitalized system. Farmers utilize SGH to plant organic vegetables, as SGH supports eco-friendly crop cultivation.

Director of the Seloliman Environmental Foundation (YLHS), Trawas, Mojokerto, Suroso stated that SGH supports the need to plant premium-class organic vegetables, such as romaine, lettuce, and bok choy.

Meanwhile, crops developed in Bareng Village comprise corn, cassava, cloves, and durian. After SGH was built, farmers plan to add other crops, such as mustard greens, cabbage, chili, melon, and watermelon.

Plants cultivated outside SGH need to be protected through larger handling of pests and diseases that require the use of chemical drugs.

In contrast, crops planted inside SGH do not require chemical drugs since animals from outside cannot enter.

Moreover, fertilizers used for this program are manure free of pesticide and other chemical materials. This is because organic vegetable crops do not require chemical drugs.

This is because SGH allows better management with minimal usage of chemical materials, and the results of organic farming yield a higher selling price.

Reducing the use of chemical drugs to eliminate pests also produces crop yields that are healthier to consume.

Increasing profit

SGH contains horticulture crops that can be harvested and sold immediately.

The existence of SGH facilitates farmers' work that leads to satisfying sales. There has been an increase in farmers' income ever since SGH exists.

Before SGH existed, farmers’ overall works, starting from cultivation, harvest, and post-harvest, resulted in profits below 70 percent. However, after SGH, the profits rose to 80 percent.

Secretary of the Farmer Association Argo Sandeng, Bareng Tutur Village, Dian Romadon stated that SGH improved agriculture production even with existing lands, which increased the residents' income.

Farmers certainly expect that the existence of SGH can help in increasing income since farming becomes more efficient without being dependent on weather.

SGH helps farmers because even in the face of climate change, they can maintain the capacity, quality, and continuity of their production.

In future, SGH is projected to be merged with or even turned into a form of edu-tourism for students and the general public to receive agriculture-related education.

The existence of SGH is expected to be a sign of a bright future for Indonesia's agriculture sector.

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Translator: Subagyo, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Sri Haryati
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