Rural areas are often attached to the paradigm of poverty. Despite their role that supports the need of people particularly in food, but the rural people often do not reap their harvests. So, it is time the government and stake holders to give more attention to the development of rural areas.
“We have to think it through how to make the rural areas not left behind. Agriculture should be on a big scale and integrated to make it sustainable and to benefit the people,” said Minister for Rural and Underdeveloped Regions and Transmigration, Eko Putro Sanjoyo, on Wednesday (9/11) at Faculty of Agriculture UGM.
In the Workshop themed Advocacy to Empowerment of Breeders and Implementation of Design Area of Food Resilient Area Model Development organised by Faculty of Agriculture UGM, Minister Eko mentioned the importance of agricultural development for rural areas that focuses on certain products. This will increase the rural economic scale to attract the private sector or to build their own post-harvest processing facilities.
He further emphasised the importance of rural cooperatives as economic drive through government funding and community funding. To improve this, the government would increase the rural funding in 2016 from Rp46.9 trillion to Rp60 trillion in 2017 and Rp120 trillion in 2018. He further called on stakeholders, private sector, and universities to give mentoring in the funding management and monitoring.
UGM Vice-Rector for Research and Community Service, Prof. Dr. Suratman, said that UGM would always support rural development programme through research, development or by dispatching students for community service.
“UGM is known as a rural university, we will always help rural development and support them with university funding, also research,” he said.
Agricultural Technology Professor from UGM, Prof. Dr. H. Mochammad Maksum Machfoedz, shared the view on the importance of government and academics serious stance to realise the food security as one of state sovereignty.
“Starting from the micro level in the agricultural system to the medium level, we will be ready to help. We have the experts, but there has to be some political work from the Ministry as well to monitor these works,” said Prof. Maksum.
The workshop attended by breeders and related agencies aimed at giving advocacy to the breeders to build and enhance themselves institutionally, to drive the growth of agricultural business that is more efficient and sustainable. Further to the event, there was signing of agreement that was done between the Faculty and Boven Digoel, Kupang, and Sambas regencies.