Young Farmer Innovation for Better Indonesian Agriculture

7 Nov 2022 / Admin / 140 Reads

Young Farmer Innovation for Better Indonesian Agriculture

By: Beni Wijaya, Public Relations Manager, PT Widodo Makmur Perkasa, Tbk.

Who would have thought that there are still some young Indonesians today who are engaged in agriculture. When other young people prefer contemporary types of industries such as information technology, tourism, culinary, and fashion, some young people from Klaten Regency, Central Java choose to develop agriculture in their area. Interestingly, they provide a new paradigm in agriculture, where it not only focuses on the upstream side - namely cultivation, but also touches the downstream side - from the process of harvesting, packaging, marketing, to empowering farmers.

Afriana Putri Chajatiningrum is a 21-year-old woman who is currently still studying at the Yogyakarta-Magelang Agricultural Development Polytechnic majoring in D4 – Horticulture Agribusiness. Together with their three friends, they chose to innovate in the world of agriculture because they saw a very good opportunity in the future, where the population of Indonesia continues to grow throughout the year and domestic consumption needs continue to increase. Moreover, according to Afriana, Indonesians 'haven't eaten, if they haven't eaten rice'.

The condition of traditional farmers is also a special concern for Afriana and her friends. According to him, the price obtained by farmers today is far from enough to bring them more prosperity. He emphasized that it is appropriate for Indonesian farmers to get appreciation from the community by providing decent prices for agricultural products produced.

After completing the Young Farmers Knight training, assisted by the Indonesian Entrepreneur Knight Foundation (KEI), PT Widodo Makmur Perkasa, Tbk, Afriana and her friends formed a business group with a focus on developing brown rice in August 2021. The condition of PPKM (Enforcement of Community Activity Restrictions) at that time did not prevent them from directly realizing what they had obtained from the training. Not surprisingly, they also gave their group a name, namely the Young Kesatria Food Producer (PPKM).

Brown rice is a commodity that they develop because they see very good market opportunities in the future, where currently there are still not many farmers who develop the rice. Whereas in big cities, for example, brown rice is one of the millennial generation's trends to live healthy, especially for those who are Running a carbo diet program. The brown rice they sell is sold at a premium price because the farming pattern they do uses a sustainable pattern, for example only using organic materials sourced from ingredients around the village.

In terms of packaging, for example, they try to make packaging as slick as possible with a very millennial look and feel. So that young people are interested in consuming local products. In addition, cooperative marketing is also carried out with several parties with the hope that the product is available in various areas that are easily accessible to the community. The hope in the future is that there will be at least 2 resellers in  each sub-district in Klaten Regency who sell their products.

This effort is in fact able to provide quite good market penetration, where their products have been accepted in various places and sold offline   and online such as through social media, and e-commerce. The Instagram account to buy their products is @berasmaknyes. 

There are no challenges in a business. They also admitted that in carrying out this effort, the journey was not easy. Team cohesiveness and unity of vision and mission, for example, became the main challenges for all group members in the early days of the business. However, communication and synergy between team members make these challenges can be answered well.

Afriana and her group aspire to bring Indonesian farmers to a better standard of welfare. According to him, if Indonesian farmers continue to implement the traditional agricultural system as it is today, then the next generation will not be interested in exploring the world of agriculture. Therefore, agricultural innovation through the hands of skilled young Indonesians is very necessary. They also want to improve the technical quality of traditional Indonesian farmers through various trainings from what they have previously obtained.

For other young Indonesians, Afriana and her group advised not to be ashamed to be young farmers. According to him, the world of agriculture in the future is still promising for the future and requires the skilled hands of young Indonesians to bring this sector better forward. "So young farmers are cool, you know, because our contribution can be directly felt by farmers directly," explained Afriana.


About the Author

Beni Wijaya is the Public Relations Manager at PT Widodo Makmur Perkasa, Tbk since July 2022. Beni has studied the field of communication, especially public relations for more than eight years, and has a special interest in the field of community empowerment, especially education and health. The 31-year-old man has a hobby of traveling and culinary.