Universitas Gadjah Mada has established cooperation with four regencies: Sigi Timur in Central Sulawesi; Bondowoso regency in East Java; Sumba Timur regency in East Nusa Tenggara; Timur Tengah Selatan regency in East Nusa Tenggara, as well as with partners, PT Mustikatama Grup.
The cooperation aimed to support the development of disadvantaged regions in the country. Signing of the cooperation agreement was done by Rector of UGM and Regents, witnessed by Director General of Underdeveloped Regions, Samsul Widodo, alongside a public discussion in the UGM Senate Hall on Saturday (24/3).
The areas of cooperation include education, research, and community service for Sigi Timur, Sumba Timur, and Timur Tengah Selatan while for Bondowoso it was on human resource, community service and utilisation of science and technology.
Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., D.Eng., said UGM always had the commitment to accelerating state development through people’s welfare improvement. As a university of the people, UGM wants the people’s welfare to improve,” he said.
According to the Rector, the regions on the outermost parts of the country had abundant natural resources but lacking human resource. Assistance from higher learning was therefore needed.
The Rector assessed that Indonesia was a competitive country in terms of economic growth, but the domestic production system has not developed well. Hence, “We need to strengthen the production process so that our trade would advance. Once achieved, the prosperity of the people would increase, too,” he said.
Director General Samsul Widodo, said development of disadvantaged regions was also done by using digital platforms to bridge agricultural and fisheries products with consumers. “”We need to prepare the market first, then the production,” he said.
He said he had established contact with digital apps developers to help the farmers that want to sell their agricultural products. These include kitabisa, limakilo, growpal, and regopantes. Furthermore, he would ask regional leaders to use these digital platforms so that the farmers would no longer sell their products through intermediaries.