President seeking farmer corporation program to improve prosperity

President seeking farmer corporation program to improve prosperity

Chief of the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), Moeldoko, during a national food seminar on ‘Reforming Food Policy Toward Golden Indonesia’ here on Thursday (March 16, 2023). (ANTARA/HO-Kantor Staf Presiden/FR)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called for a farmer corporation program to empower and improve the prosperity of farmers, chief of the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Moeldoko has said.

"This means that farmers do not only harvest and immediately sell their crops. However, farmers are involved in the rice production process and participate in the crop yield marketing," he explained.

Farmer corporations should also be boosted through the provision of capital access, he added during a national food seminar on "Reforming Food Policy Toward Golden Indonesia" here on Thursday.

"Thus, during harvest, corporations can give their benefit to farmers," he said, according to a press statement issued by the KSP.

The idea concerning farmer corporations was initiated by Widodo in 2017. The President's directive was followed up by the Agriculture Ministry through the Farmer Corporation-Based Agriculture Zone Development Guideline.

The guideline was stipulated within the Agriculture Ministry Regulation No. 18 of 2018.

A farmer corporation is an independent, competitive, and continuous agriculture enterprise that provides guidance, assistance, seeds, fertilizers, post-harvesting and processing equipment, as well as marketing training to farmers.

The farmers themselves act as the members and managers of the corporation.

According to a research report from Nagara Institute, which was cited by the KSP, there has been a downward trend in farmers' prosperity and the younger generation's interest in farming.

A Statistics Indonesia (BPS) report also highlighted that most of the poor population is found in the agriculture sector.

Poor households working in the agriculture sector account for the largest chunk of the poor population at 46.30 percent. The average income per month in the agriculture sector in 2022 was recorded at Rp1.9 million or US$123.

There are several challenges that farmers encounter, which include increasingly small and damaged fields. Indonesian farmers also cannot get technology immediately, Moeldoko highlighted.

When it comes to financial management, farmers also have low levels of numeracy. Moreover, during post-harvest, there is always a 10-percent loss, he added.

Moreover, while the government has allocated Rp70 trillion or US$4.53 billion for agriculture, farmers still face difficulties in accessing capital, he informed.

This is because of a variety of factors ranging from literacy to issues surrounding bureaucracy. 

Related news: President Jokowi sets deadline for improving fertilizer distribution
Related news: President asks farmers to accelerate rice planting