The Ministry of Agriculture encourages further development and improvement of farmer agricultural products in order to increase their added values. On the launching event of the Strategic Agricultural Development Command (Kostratani), in Junrejo District, Batu City, Saturday, 31 October 2020, Dr. Ir Siti Munifah, M.Si, as the Secretary of Agency of Agricultural Extension and Development of Human Resources revealed various programs and supports that have been and will continue to be carried out in the coming year through the Kostratani program.
Present at the Kostratani launching were the Director of BBPP Batu Dr. Wasis Sarjono, S.Pt, M.Si; Director of Balitjestro Dr. Ir. Harwanto, M.Si; Head of Batu City Agriculture Office, Ir. Sugeng Pramono; Danrem 083 / Baladhika Jaya Malang Lt. Col. Inf Nanang Prianggodo; representatives of Batu City Police and all extension agents in the Junrejo District, Batu City.
BPP Junrejo Batu is one of two BPP Kostratani under the coordination of ICSFRI. Apart from BPP Junrejo, Balitjestro is also overseeing BPP Dau, Malang Regency.Various agricultural products, ranging from food crops and horticulture were displayed by the Farmer Group and the Women Farmer Group (KWT) including organic vegetables, onion and garlic products, mushroom crackers, dumplings, vegetable sticks, bakpia, various processed traditional drinks, and many more.
Siti Munifah appreciates various things done by KWT which created many goods from agricultural products. However, she emphasized that all products must be properly registered, starting from PIRT and even getting a distribution permit from MD BPOM. Local governments are asked to oversee the process, especially PIRT, which is under their authority. These various permits will increase consumer confidence because of their quality assurance.
The role of the University, represented by UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang through the Management Study Program, is very much needed. Agus Sucipto said that the management and marketing communication expert of UIN Malang would help KWT preparing their products to enter market palce. “A business feasibility study is also conducted so that farmers’ products can compete in the market,” he added. Collaboration with various universities within Malang Raya is carried out among UB, UMM Malang, UIN Malang, Unisma, etc.
Currently, it is inevitable for agricultural products to adapt and compete in the marketplace. Marketplace is an intermediary between sellers and buyers in cyberspace. With online sales, products reach consumers faster and cut through long distribution chains. The Covid-19 pandemic situation has changed conventional transaction patterns into cyberspace, both through social media and various online sales sites that have begun to fluorish.
Of course, not all farmers are literate in operating social media and online tools. The role of youth, especially the millennial generation, is very much needed. They are the ones who are accustomed to gadget and interacting in cyberspace. The creativity of this millennial generation is an opportunity for agricultural agribusiness to attract more consumers. Moreover, currently healthy consumption through the “go organic” movement is becoming a trend in big cities, for example.
In the discussion session, various issues were discussed, ranging from the support needed by BPP to carry out the social functions optimally, the extension function, farmer cards and fertilizer subsidies, to export procedures which were considered to be complicated. As is known, in Dadaprejo, Junrejo District, Batu City, there are orchid exporters that are well known, even abroad. The existing export procedures are considered to be arduous. It is expected that improvements will be carried out so that Indonesian farmers’ products that are competitive can be exported.
The Kostratani launching event was closed symbolically by planting of citrus plants in BPP Junrejo. Citrus are currently starting to develop in Batu City, especially due to their high economic value (hnf; tr:bq)