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Indonesia: batik and craft industry needs modern technology polishing

The Ministry of Industry encouraged the batik and craft industry to take advantage of modern technology to boost productivity and quality more efficiently.

Indonesia has an aspiration to be in the top 10 global economies by 2030 and the most critical growth engine will be a positive net-export. This is in line with the implementation of priority programs on the road map of Making Indonesia 4.0. The five key 5 sectors included in Making Indonesia 4.0 are Food & Beverage, Textiles & Apparels, Automotive, Electronics and Chemicals

“With an innovative, effective and efficient production process, industry players always make endless creations, so that their productivity will increase and ultimately their competitiveness will also be boosted,” said Doddy Rahadi, Head of the Industrial Research and Development Agency (BPPI), Ministry of Industry.

The country is optimistic that through the use of the latest technology, the batik and craft industry will be able to make a significant contribution to the national economic recovery due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The handicraft and batik industries must also be able to adapt to new normal that the pandemic has brought about.

Batik products play a significant role in earning the country’s foreign exchange through the achievement of export value in 2019 amounting to US$ 17.99 million. Meanwhile, in January-July 2020, the shipping value of batik increased to US$ 21.54 million. Its main export market destinations are Japan, the United States and Europe.

This takes on more significance as the batik industry is a sector that creates a lot of jobs and which is dominated by small and medium industries (IKM) spread across 101 centres throughout Indonesia. The batik industry gets priority development; apart from being based on local culture, it is also considered to have great leverage in creating added value, the impact of trade transactions, the amount of investment, the impact on other industries, and the speed of market penetration.

The rapid development of technology recently, especially the 4.0 industrial revolution, has brought extraordinary changes to the business sector. Technology has touched various fields and succeeded in changing human behaviour, including in addressing the manufacture of products such as handicrafts and batik.

Technological development always promises convenience, efficiency, and increased productivity. The types of work that previously required considerable physical abilities are now relatively able to be replaced by automatic machines and modern technology.

“Even so, the presence and role of technology are unlikely to replace the role of humans as a whole,” said Doddy.

The touch of technology should not make a cultural value contained in handicraft and batik products fade, disappear or be replaced. If the technology used can synergise with local culture, the application of this technology will have a very positive impact. Therefore, the wisdom of combining the technological advances in the industrial era 4.0 with the sustainability of the nation’s culture is expected to provide value-added products and batik craft a national basis is the skills of craftsmanship.

All of this has the aim that the handicraft and batik industry which is based on local culture will continue to thrive in its own country, but must adapt with changing times. None-the-less, all these efforts will not be done outside environmental norms. In this case, the handicraft and batik industry sector will use environmentally friendly materials, such as materials derived from renewable natural sources.

To achieve these goals, the Yogyakarta Center for Handicrafts and Batik (BBKB), under the guidance of BPPI, organised the Second National Seminar on Handicraft and Batik Industry (SNIKB) in 2020 with the theme Role of Technology 4.0 in Batik and Craft Industry Development.

Similarly, the handicraft industry encompasses more than 700 thousand business units, employing 1.32 million people. In 2019, the export value of national handicraft products reached US$ 892 million, an increase of 2.6% compared to 2018’s acquisition of USD 870 million.

The Head of Yogyakarta Center for Handicrafts and Batik (BBKB), Titik Purwati Widowati, said that her party is determined to encourage the creation of new ideas and innovations in the development of the batik and craft industry in the country. “We hope that the use of modern technology will eventually develop into competitive products in the global arena while at the same time supporting industrial processes from upstream to downstream.”

To address the various challenges and dynamics in the era of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, collaborative steps need to be taken by involving several stakeholders, ranging from government institutions, associations and industry players, to academics and the media.

The governments will continue to actively publish various research and development results related to the handicraft and batik industry through seminars or other programs.

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