President Jokowi Asks Farmers to Work in Corporation
Date 28 Juni 2018
President Joko Jokowi Widodo requested that farmers not work individually but in groups. He considered the Farmers Group (Poktan) or Joint Farmers Group (Gapoktan) is not enough. In order to be a great power, the President added, farmers need to form a larger group.
“Large group of farmers, large group of Poktan, large group of Gapoktan. I often mention that farmers need to be incorporated. There should be a Gapoktan corporation, Poktan corporation. There must be a large number of farmers’ corporations,” the President said in his opening remarks at the opening of the Asian Agriculture & Food Forum (ASAFF) at the State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday (28/6).
According to the President, by forming a group of corporations, there are economies of scales. If a large private sector can do it, the President believes farmers are also able to do so. “I always tell this everywhere,” he said.
The President went on to explain that farmers can no longer handle fertilizer and seed business affairs, since it has been done for decades. The President stressed there needs to be a leap in welfare increases.
To that end, the President suggested to form a farmer corporation, for example, Gapoktan and Poktan corporations, so that farmers are organized in large numbers in each region, be it at the regent or sub-district levels.
“The management must be professional. The people must understand production, marketing affairs. Because the greatest benefit is not when we plant or when we harvest, but post-harvest,” the President firmly said.
The President further explained that do not let farmers directed to continue to sell grain. “Farmers should be able to sell rice. However, the rice should already be in the form of packaging. That’s what I keep telling you all the time. Because the profits are there,” the President explained.
The President also asserted that farmers themselves must be able to sell their product directly to consumers considering the profits are there, in trade and marketing. It can be marketed via online store or by the farmers themselves via online.
On the occasion, the President mentioned one example in Indramayu, in which the farmers and SOEs establish a PT (Limited Liability Company). There are dryer and big modern rice milling units, as well as packaging unit.
“The production is good, the drying process is not at the home yard but put into the dryer unit, so the quality of rice also improved from medium to premium as the broken rice is also very little,” the President said.
Next, the product is directly in-packaging and given the product brand. The product name is clear, well drawn so that consumers who see it also want to buy.
“Without us getting into business affairs, marketing affairs, post-harvest affairs, the farmers welfare will not be materialized,” the President concluded.
Also present at the event were Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko as Chairman of the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI) and Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman. (MAY/ ES) (MUR/MMB/YM/Naster).