JAKARTADAILY.ID – Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world and a major producer of agricultural products. With 45 percent of the population living in rural areas, more than 90 percent who work in agriculture are smallholder farmers. Agriculture farms take up 32 percent of the total land area of the country, and the productions average accounts are 14 percent of the GDP.
Yet agricultural production faces several major challenges. The cost of agricultural production is quite high, while agriculture remains a highly labor-intensive sector. Smallholder farmers always work the hardest but acquire the least benefit in the food systems activities.
To face the challenges and take advantage of emerging digital opportunities, FAO in close collaboration with the Center of Agricultural Data and System Information (CADIS) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) for first time launched the agriculture digitalization strategy called “e-Agriculture National Strategy” that is able to harness the data and information resources in agriculture to the benefit of smallholders.
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“It is very important to note that the MoA cooperation with FAO has accelerated agricultural development in the country. I appreciate the e-agriculture national strategy that can provide instrument facilitation that is urgently needed by the MoA to accelerate our agriculture development in the upstream, on farm, post-harvest, for the farmers to strengthen their position agricultural industry, “ said the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture Kasdi Soebagyono in his remarks at the launching events of the e Agriculture National Strategy in Yogyakarta, Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
Data on land areas under cultivation, productivity, marketing channels, commodity prices diversification of consumption, and food safety are some examples of data parameter in Agriculture production that is needed by the policymakers. Early Warning System (EWS) data that can reduce the impact of specific disasters is also urgently needed.
Among others, e -Agriculture National Strategy roadmap mentioned that in 2027 Indonesia will have an integrated database for farmland and farmer, provide a digital early warning system for disasters that threaten agriculture production, and run systems for agriculture data collection, extraction, and analysis.
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“Food Systems transformation in Indonesia must start with digitalizing Agriculture. Digitalization offers reliable data as the parameter for the decision-maker to create a well-targeted policy. We need to compile real-time data for more transparent information to ease the farmers to penetrate the market " said Rajendra Aryal FAO Representative in Indonesia and Timor Leste.
Agriculture Digitalization is also a way to attract young people to involve in the agriculture business, “Digitalization is the future, and the future is now to empower women, men, and youth in agriculture" Rajendra said.
Agriculture Digital Collection Platform
One of the core e-solution to create a reliable database for decision is the Data Collection Platform (DCP) that can collect any agriculture data from various inputs key informant persons, sensors, and other systems.
“Once the farmers’ data is available, the implementation of other e-solutions is relatively easy to follow and integrate. E-solution implementation for each area will be selective based on the area’s needs, infrastructure availability, culture/local wisdom, and gradual, “ Rajendra added.
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