Village Heads, Facilitators to Visit China, India for Benchmarking Program
Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Eko Putro Sandjojo on Monday (2/9), at his office in Jakarta, met with 40 Village Heads, Village Activists and Village Facilitators who will join the Batch II of benchmarking program conducted in the People’s Republic of China and India.
“The program aims to accelerate development in villages through improving the quality of human resources in the villages,” Eko said in his remarks.
The Minister added that the benchmarking program is carried out without any funding from the State Budget and he asked the participants to maintain good relations with village activists in the two countries.
“I want all of you to learn and develop good relationships with village heads and administrators of Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) in China or India. The good relations will help us to market village products, either in China or India,” Eko said.
He went on to say that the first batch of the program has been successful and some of those who were deemed to have visible ideas were able to make their villages to be used as model/pilot villages for other regions.
“I have monitored (the participants) on their Whatsapp group; they are proactive and have many ideas so that the use of village funds, as well as the village innovation, can be better,” Eko said, adding that (some villages from) China will provide assistance in Indonesia, including on post-harvest management.
“I hope all of you will become the pioneers of development in your villages. Learn from your counterparts because the development of the village (there) is quite good. Learn how they manage their post-harvest and tourist villages and apply the successful measures in Indonesia,” the Minister said.
In the meantime, the Economic Consul of the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta, Wang Liping, said that the benchmarking program batch II will be directly supervised by Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration of Indonesia and the Ambassador of China to Indonesia.
“The participants of the benchmarking program will visit four cities in China, namely Beijing, Huzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai which are political, cultural and economic centers. They will study in the city of Huzhou, where rural reform in China began and where the richest village is located. “Village Enterprises symposiums will be available, as well as cooperation in agriculture, food processing and others,” he explained.
He added that the wealth of a country is determined by the wealth and stability of rural areas. He also expressed hope that in the future the agricultural and rural investment will become important aspects.
“For the participants, I hope you will be successful and you will become reformers for the development of your respective villages and can improve cooperation with China. I hope all of you will be successful. I will be with you throughout the program,” he said.
On that occasion, Minister Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs of the Embassy of India V. Narayanan said that the India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program was first held in 1964 as a medium to share good experiences of success stories from India to friendly countries. From Indonesia alone, 1,300 people have participated in this program.
This program aims to make participants understand the various methods applied by the Indian Government in rural development, by witnessing the success stories in villages.
“The participants will visit one State, where there is the largest women’s empowerment group. I really hope this program helps broaden the horizons of the participants. The more important thing is the Indonesian Village Heads will also share their experiences so that we can also learn from villages in Indonesia,” he said.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Anwar Sanusi said that the Benchmarking program will involve 40 participants, 34 men and 6 women, including Village Heads, Village Activists, and Village Facilitators representing 29 Regencies in 17 Provinces, namely North Sumatra, Riau, Jambi , Banten, West Java, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Central Java, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, South Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Gorontalo, South Sulawesi and North Maluku.
The benchmarking program in China is carried out in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in China. The participants will attend training in four cities starting from Beijing, Huzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. The training will be held for 17 days from 3-18 September 2019, attended by 26 participants from villages and accompanied by four officials from the Indonesian Ministry and two officers from the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, the Benchmarking program in India is carried out in collaboration with the Indian Embassy in Indonesia and the India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC). There will be 14 participants from villages and four officials from the Indonesian Ministry who will join the 14-day training, from September 2-15, 2019 at the National Institution of Rural Development, Hyderabad.
“Do your best because (your effort) will determine the sustainability of the program in India,” Anwar said.
The benchmarking program is a combination of classroom learning, discussion, field trips and interaction with rural development actors in both countries.
All funding for the second batch of the benchmarking program come from the Chinese Government and the Indian Government. (PR of Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration /ES)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Edited by: Mia Medyana