Agriculture Ministry presented combine harvesters and rice transplanters in aid to 60 agricultural graduates who will engage themselves in agrobusinesses. This programme is aimed at motivating the young to participate in agriculture sector. “We need regeneration for farmers. Across the entire agricultural regions, the age of our farmers are over 50 years old. So, where are their juniors? They’re not on the rice field, most of them are unwilling to continue in their parents’ footstep. Obviously, farming knows no retirement age, so we need to prepare (regeneration) from now on,” said Head of Dissemination and HR Development of the Ministry, Ir. Pending Dadih Permana, M.Ec. Dev, after handing over the aid in the auditorium of Agriculture Faculty of Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM) on Friday (5/2).
Witnessing the handover was UGM Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Alumni, Dr. Paripurna P. Sugarda, S.H., L.L.M., and Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Dr. Jamhari. The machines were given to two farmer groups from Sragen and Semarang regencies. Most of the members of the groups are alumni of UGM who have started work in agrobusiness.
Dadih Permana in his speech said that the agriculture system in Indonesia had to be well planned. “If not done by design, the agrarian status referred to to the country will lose its essence as we’re losing agriculture HR,” he said.
He further invited higher learning and industry to make progress in agricultural sector, involving many agricultural graduates to work in the field. “This year we will start the 500 young entrepreneurs programme for agriculture,” he said.
Dr. Jamhari said the machines were presented to the UGM agriculture graduates who had previously joined a special programme for self-supply programme in rice, corn, and beans. “Hopefully, the aid can boost entrepreneurship in agriculture sector,” he said.
Arga Kurniawan (24), recipient of the aid, said along with 26 other fellow graduates, he would apply to use the machines in Sragen. “Our members are also working in marketing and machine operators,” he said.
It is expected that the machines will accelerate agriculture modernisation in rural areas. To prepare against any resistance from farmer workers, another recipient, Mudasir (30), said “We will cooperate with the rice workers.”