Strengthened Agriculture is Key as Indonesia Embarks on New Economic Journey
Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia , Coordinator for People’s Welfare, Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar, stated that in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia must intensify efforts to prevent the country from deeper economic crisis. Strengthening agricultural production is one of the efforts that can be made. According to him, Indonesia needs a new economic reorientation in facing the increasingly complex challenges.
The new economic orientation mentioned refers to strengthening the agricultural sector. “Agriculture is the solution for the crisis. Seventy-five percent of our villages are agricultural areas, and the majority of Indonesia’s population depends on agricultural sector and natural resources. Therefore, this sector needs a special attention,” said the politician who is also known as Gus Muhaimin as his popular name, in a working visit to Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), West Java, Sunday (19/7/2020).
Furthermore, Gus Muhaimin explained that the new economic orientation towards the agricultural sector is needed since Indonesia aspires to be the world’s food power. “We must get out of the global dependence, especially in the agricultural and food sectors. The Indonesian nation must have food sovereignty. We cannot depend on imported food for 260 million Indonesians because it will be dangerous if a crisis arises,” he stressed.
On that occasion, Rector of Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), Prof. Dr. Arif Satria, explained and showed various innovations developed by IPB. Such innovations are introduced by using the application of technology 4.0 in agriculture and food sectors and stimulating regeneration of farmers by creating social entrepreneur. One of the programs that can be designed is santrienterpreneur, an abbreviated combination between santri (students of Islamic boarding schools) and entrepreneur.
In his response, Iskandar felt more optimistic that the idea of new reorientation of new economy to agricultural sector could be realized thanks to the supports from universities and experts. He underlined that what has been initiated by IPB is in line with what he has been promoting in his capacity as the Vice Speaker of the House for People’s Welfare.
“I have ordered all regional leader candidates endorsed by National Awakening Party (PKB), the party that Iskandar chairs, to sign a political contract to apply new reorientation of economy to agricultural sector and other alternative economies that will prosper the people and not damage the environment,” concluded Iskandar. (hs/sf)