BI to optimize pesantren role to support food security

BI to optimize pesantren role to support food security

Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia (BI) Juda Agung at the ‘2023 East Java Food Inflation Control National Movement (GNPIP)’ on Friday (March 17, 2023). (ANTARA/Martha Herlinawati Simanjuntak)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia (BI) Juda Agung has said that BI will optimize the role of pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) in the development of strategic food commodities to support national food security.

“We will also encourage pesantren to become centers of development for strategic food commodities,” he said at the “2023 East Java Food Inflation Control National Movement (GNPIP)” event, which was followed online on Friday.

BI is implementing the Integrated Farming with Technology and Information (Infratani) program to develop technology-based horticultural cultivation infrastructure, he explained. The program supports the strengthening of the integrated agricultural sector that is based on digital technology utilization.

So far, the program has been implemented at 90 pesantren in various regions of Indonesia. Agung also expressed the hope that in 2023, the program would be implemented in East Java.

That way, pesantren can play a more significant role in supporting agricultural and horticultural production as well as food security.

“We can optimize the role of pesantren to support the food security program,” he said.

It is also hoped that the Pesantren Business Economy Association (Hebitren) would get involved by inviting its members to support food security in Indonesia actively, he added.

According to him, there are some pesantren that have applied technology and digitalization in agriculture, for instance, by constructing greenhouses and utilizing the Internet of Things for fertilizing and watering plants automatically. The use of technology would be able to boost agricultural productivity.

To this end, he said that the good practices in the development of strategic food commodities in one pesantren could be replicated by pesantren in other regions to expand the impact.

To strengthen the GNPIP, the East Java BI Representative Office is synergizing with the provincial government of East Java to make strategic breakthroughs as part of the effort to stabilize food prices through several programs.

The programs are the Digitalization and Innovation of Agricultural Cultivation (Digdaya), Securing Strategic Food Distribution (Amukti), and Inclusive Financing for Food Business Players (Palapa).

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