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Indonesia encourages agri key players to be more ‘innovative, creative’

During the current global health crisis, government organisations and businesses alike are implementing innovative schemes geared towards boosting operations and adopting remote procedures amid safety and health protocols. 

The Indonesian government is in line with these initiatives as it anticipates an economic recovery following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Authorities were vocal in their support for programmes in digitalisation and projects that use technological advancements. These efforts are evident in many key areas of its economy, including electronics, manufacturing and even in more traditional industries like agriculture. 

The implementation of digital undertakings was at the core of the speech of Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo. In a statement, he encouraged key players in the agri sector to be more creative and innovative in adopting and rolling out programmes to boost the quality of food resources. This, he said, comes on the heels of goals to meet the needs of the whole population despite restrictions in mobility, decrease in the people’s purchasing power and occurrence of unemployment. 

He went on to say that with the new normal, there is a pressing need for government agencies to introduce productive activities that as a whole will have massive impacts on the Indonesian economy. He clarified that these include advanced and modern agricultural programmes. 

The Minister cited that the agriculture industry can benefit from innovations, particularly in water technology. He added: “with automatic watering technology through the smartphone watering control system, this proves that technological advances have been able to increase productivity, everything can be processed through applications and online systems.” 

His statements were made during his speech at the launch of the Ministry’s Agro-Ed (AEW) tourism area in Ragunan, South Jakarta, a site that has a total land area of 2.2 hectares. The AEW Ragunan is an activity set up by agriculture authorities under which a farming area is developed as a viable site for food production, education and technological innovation. The activity helps foster business incubation and environmental conservation. The AEW was also described by the Ministry as an effective tourism area. 

For his part, Agung Hendriadi, Head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Food Security Agency, mentioned that their department has collaborated with the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government and other stakeholders to develop agri-tourism in Ragunan. They have also teamed up with the food security, maritime and agriculture service providers in that area.   

In describing the current state of agri-tourism, the Food Security Agency Head said that: “this agri-tourism is developed with the concept of urban agriculture or urban farming which integrates upstream-downstream farming processes. These are combined with educational and tourism activities for the community and are supported by technological innovation.”  

In order to hit food production targets, the AEW area was put up to modernise existing techniques in farming and to adopt urban farming technology and quality business incubation. It is intended to be a hub where millennial farmers can collaborate and learn through various educational and tourism facilities. This is in line with the goal of the Jakarta Provincial Government in elevating the quality of agriculture-centred education in communities. 

By harnessing technology, the current state of agriculture in Jakarta can be elevated and used to scale up food production. Authorities added: “The target is 12 AEW locations. For this reason, this synergy needs to be carried out in the future, especially in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture.” 

The Agriculture Department has been ramping up efforts to improve operations. As earlier reported by OpenGov Asia, the Minister called on the Agricultural Research and Development Agency to enhance and develop new innovative projects that can enhance current methods used in the agriculture industry.

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